Don't Let Hand Pain Keep You from Flossing
About Me
Don't Let Hand Pain Keep You from Flossing

I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.

Don't Let Hand Pain Keep You from Flossing

Your Guide To Good Oral Hygiene With Braces

Francis Miles

Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, but it's of particular concern to anyone who has braces. Braces can do wonders for your smile by correcting gaps and misaligned teeth, but if you don't take care of your teeth while you have your braces on, you may be left with cavities, stains, gum problems, or other dental issues when they come off.


Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is important when you have braces, and most dentists recommend brushing after every meal and snack as much as possible. Choose a toothpaste that has fluoride and stay away from whitening toothpaste while you have your braces.

It's best to rinse your mouth before you brush to loosen any food particles stuck in or around your braces. A regular toothbrush won't be able to reach around and between all the brackets and wires of your braces. Go in around your braces and between all of the brackets with a small interdental toothbrush made for tight spaces.

After you've cleaned around your braces, hold a toothbrush with soft bristles at a 45-degree angle against your braces and brush from the top to the bottom. Next, clean your teeth by using a circular motion with your toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle against your gums. 

Hold your toothbrush near the end or only use your thumb and one or two fingers to hold your toothbrush if you feel you're brushing too hard or if you notice your gums are irritated or bleeding after you brush.


If you weren't the best flosser before you got your braces it's important to get into a good flossing routine during your orthodontic treatment. Floss can get small food particles your toothbrush and interdental brush can't reach, and it helps remove plaque from under the brackets and wires.

It can be difficult to get traditional dental floss to all the tiny spaces around your braces, so most people use a floss threader or disposable plastic floss picks to make it easier to maneuver the floss around braces. A water flosser is a good investment for many people who have braces because it's much easier for the thin stream of water to work around braces and between teeth than regular floss.

Problematic Foods

Some foods just aren't a good match when you have braces. Stay away from foods that are likely to get caught in your braces, such as gummies and other sticky candy and gum. Popcorn and nuts can damage your braces or get caught in the wires. Cut or break hard foods, such as raw vegetables, pretzels, and croutons, into small pieces so you don't have to bite down on them with your front teeth and risk damaging your braces. Limit your starch and sugar intake to reduce your risk of cavities and tooth decay.

Talk to your dentist about your at-home oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth healthy and strong for the duration of your braces treatment.