A dental floss threader is a handy device for anyone with braces, bridgework or other dental appliances that restrict access to teeth. Braces and the like make great breeding grounds for bacteria, and flossing daily will help cut down on plaque and other unpleasant consequences.
I first used a dental floss threader when I got braces at the age of fourteen. It was difficult at first because I wasn’t used to manipulating floss in a mouth full of metal, but it becomes second nature after you’ve practiced for a few weeks. In fact, the threader makes it so easy that you won’t need a mirror for long.
If your braces or bridgework are new, it is important to realize that using the dental floss threader might be uncomfortable at first. For that reason, you should take it slowly and work the floss very gently until your mouth becomes used to the new appliances.
First, take your dental floss threader in one hand and your floss string in the other. Thread one side of the floss through the loop in the threader until it is even on both sides.
The straight end of the dental floss threader can then be pushed through any small area behind posts in bridge work or under braces. Once the stiff end is through, hold on to one side of the actual floss with one hand and pull the other side through with the threader until you have floss on either side of the teeth.
After that, you can floss as usual by working the dental floss down into the crevice, moving it back and forth five or six times to dislodge food particles and plaque.
Some people, of course, have trouble using a dental floss threader, and you might not always have the implement available when you need to clean your teeth. One alternative is called Super Floss, and is essentially a threader and floss all in one.
Like the dental floss threader, Super Floss is composed of stiff nylon on both ends. The center length of the string is spongy material, which might actually be more comfortable than ordinary floss. Simply use the nylon strips just as you would a threader to loop behind bridge posts or between braces, and use the spongy section to clean the teeth and appliances.
Whether you use a dental floss threader or Super Floss, you will have a much easier time cleaning around difficult dental appliances. You can also use these products to clean between bonded or very closely-spaced teeth that resist the attempts with regular floss.
If you have trouble using your dental floss threader, your dentist can give you a demonstration and help you learn techniques that will make it easier for you. You will find that some products are thinner than others, and some have sharper ends that might puncture your gums if you jab too hard and miss the area between the teeth. Make sure to look at all products carefully before selecting one to purchase.