Dental Care

Dental Floss Threader

Consider the use of a dental floss threader if you are currently wearing braces or if you have any dental bridgework in your mouth.

This is a remarkably simple device that allows you to get your preferred type of dental floss under or around the most difficult areas of braces or bridgework in order to properly clean that region of the mouth or the teeth.

What does a dental floss threader look like? It appears to be an oversized needle with a very ample “eye”.

The user of the dental floss threader simply runs their favorite floss through this eye and then gently threads the unit behind the wires of braces or between the vulnerable spaces of the bridgework.

It is a very flexible item, and this means that even difficult or problematic angles can be safely and easily maneuvered and treated.

Why is it Necessary to Use a Dental Floss Threader?

Just consider a person with braces (these can be standard “front of tooth” fixtures or the hidden “lingual braces”), and try to envision how difficult it would be for them to use dental floss around the wires running between the brackets.

In fact, if you think about the physics behind this issue…it is entirely impossible to floss teeth with brackets and wires running between them! With a dental floss threader anyone with braces or a bridge would have only to slide the threader behind the wire, and then they can then begin flossing like normal!

This is vitally important for anyone with braces or bridgework because their gums and teeth are frequently exposed to a bit of extra irritation and are also vulnerable to more trapped food particles and the buildup of plaque.

To Floss or Not to Floss

Clearly, flossing is a vital part of overall dental health, and is often considered one of the core tenants of good hygiene. This is because it will:

  • Fight bad breath – when you use a dental floss threader to clean between braces and/or bridgework, you are going to dramatically reduce your chances for bad breath because you are scraping away the bacteria and plaque that are a common cause of halitosis. Consider that food particles are much more likely to be caught behind braces or bridges, and this is a major reason to be sure to obtain a dental floss threader that can be used on a daily basis;
  • Fight staining – people with bridgework are always going to worry about their natural teeth beginning to appear different than those in the bridge, and flossing is known to reduce the chances for tea, coffee, food and cigarette stains on natural enamel. The same thing can be said for people with braces because the glues used to attach the brackets may lead to staining if not properly cleaned, and a dental floss threader can really help out with that task;
  • Protect dental work – most dental work will eventually begin to deteriorate due to the high rate of use. If you don’t floss around bridges, crowns, and even around implants, you are increasing the pace at which these amendments may fail you. Luckily, a dental floss threader makes it much easier to work around even the tightest of bridges;
  • Reduce risk of decay – people with hard to reach spaces on the surfaces of their teeth should really pay extra attention to their daily maintenance routines. For instance, if you cannot reach your deepest teeth because of braces and wires getting in the way, you should invest in a dental floss threader that will allow you to scrape the surface and gum line of those teeth as this is the best way to reduce your risks of decay;
  • Cut chances of bacterial infections – gum disease is not the only thing that can happen when bacteria run rampant in the mouth and gums. There are all kinds of studies that show how bacteria can lead to the development of heart disease and strokes, as well as the loss of adult teeth. Simply flossing and brushing at least twice a day can help to reduce the amount of bacteria; and
  • Reduce risks of gum disease – do you know how gum disease (Periodontitis) develops? It begins with plaque, which builds up at the gum line of the teeth and becomes tartar. This tartar leads to irritation of the gums, and the trapping of bacteria. This leads to gingivitis, which is the first phase of gum disease. After a while this can cause infection in the tooth, gum, and even the jaw, and eventually leads to loss of the tooth. Flossing removes the plaque at least once per day, and this dramatically reduces the chance for tartar to develop.

How to Floss Using a Threader

The best method to follow is:

  • Wash your hands well;
  • Remove roughly 18” of dental floss and thread one end of it through the open loop at the end of the threader (leave one side roughly half as long as the other);
  • If flossing a bridge, you insert the end of the threader, without the loop, between the gum line and the bridge. If flossing braces, you run the threader between the tooth and the wire;
  • If flossing a bridge, simply floss with a gentle sliding or sawing motion and work all of the way across it. If flossing braces, start at the back of your mouth and gently curve or wrap the floss around the base of each tooth (be sure to get the floss below the gum line) and use a very gentle sliding or sawing motion to get it in between teeth;
  • Never snap or force floss as this is a common cause for trauma and bleeding of the gums;
  • Be sure that you have angled the floss correctly around each tooth (the floss will be in a “C” shape) as you scrape the surface of the tooth;
  • Work all of the way around the upper and lower teeth, and be sure to move to a clean section of the floss as you do;
  • Once you have finished flossing, you can move on to brushing.


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