When orthodontists fit you with a new set of braces, they will certainly be able to answer any questions you might have about how to best care for them. Some of these questions might not actually occur to you until later, such as when you're trying to floss your teeth later that evening. If you have any queries or concerns about your braces, you can certainly speak with your dentist or orthodontist, but when it comes to flossing when you have braces, there are a few tips you need to know about.
Get into the habit of rinsing thoroughly after each time you eat to prevent food becoming lodged in between your teeth and your braces. Ask your dentist or orthodontist for the best type of mouthwash to use with your braces. They might also suggest a simple salt water rinse. By washing out debris before they have a chance to become lodged in your mouth, it makes the later act of flossing much easier.
Use waxed dental floss. This wax acts as a type of protective coating on the floss, so it is far less likely to snap or shred when it rubs against the metal components of your braces.
Use a flossing pick. These are small pieces of plastic with a piece of floss tightly held between two plastic prongs. You use the pick by grasping it between your thumb and forefinger which (with some practice) is often easier and more precise than traditional dental floss. They are available with both waxed and unwaxed floss, and you should opt for the waxed version, as you should with traditional floss.
Discard dental floss and use dental tape. It looks just the same as regular dental floss and yet this similarity disappears once you use it. While dental floss is of an unchangeable length like a piece of string, dental tape stretches like a piece of elastic. It's easy to get into the nooks and crannies of your braces without worrying about snapping the tape.
It's a more expensive option, but it is certainly effective. If you opt for a water flossing device, you simply move the head of the device (which is of a similar shape and size to a toothbrush) throughout your mouth. A concentrated jet of water is pushed between the gaps in your teeth (and the gap between your braces and your teeth), dislodging any food particles that might be caught.
Flossing your teeth when you have braces doesn't have to be difficult, but it's important to know that regular traditional dental floss probably isn't the best option for you. For more tips, contact experienced orthodontists in your area.