Braces and other dental appliances make great breeding grounds for bacteria and other microorganisms, and flossing regularly can help bring down the development of plaque and other unpleasant dental conditions. However, flossing can be difficult, especially for people who have braces, bridges, dental implants, and permanent retainers that block the gums and teeth, which are very close to each other. Under such conditions, a floss threader should be used, as it allows proper navigation around these obstructions.
It is a flexible device, specially designed to help people with braces, bridgework or other dental appliances that restrict access to the teeth. It has a thin, firm end, and a loop into which one can thread the dental floss. This stiff or firm end enables to slide the floss through the tight or thin spaces between the teeth and the bridge, which has to be pulled slowly as soon as the floss comes between the teeth and the bridge.
Instructions for Using the Floss Threader
Apart from flossing teeth regularly, it is more important to learn the correct way to floss in order to remove as much dental plaque as possible. Therefore, following are simple instructions for using floss threaders.
- Gently insert the stiff end of the threader below the gum line by the bridge. Hold on to the long piece of floss and pull the sharp end of the floss through the threader.
- Now hold the floss with both hands and move the floss back and forth below your bridge. Start flossing like you usually do with a normal piece of floss.
- Be careful while using it underneath your new implants, bridges, and braces and ensure that you floss completely underneath the bridge using back and forth motion.
- Pull the floss to opposite side when you are done cleaning your teeth. For each flossing use a fresh section of floss.
You can also use superfloss, an advance variation, which has a thick, firm end to help pull the rest of the floss through. Initially, you may feel a bit uneasy to clean underneath your new bridges and braces but after a week or so, you will get accustomed to this new dental care and hygiene routine. However, you need to take care to insert the threader carefully into the mouth and use the floss gently until your mouth gets used to this new dental device.
Though most dentists recommend flossing after every meal, you can do it once a day at the beginning. Furthermore, it is ideal to floss your teeth at night before bedtime, to maintain good oral health.