Tips on How to Floss with Braces
Flossing when you have braces is essential.
With braces, there are added spaces where food can get stuck. That stuck-on food can cause lasting damage: plaque, cavities, gum disease.
How do you floss with braces?
The answer depends on the tool you’re using.
We’ll go over the three most common types of floss and give you step-by-step instructions.
How to floss with braces using traditional dental floss
Dental floss… This text opens a new tab to the oralb website… is a soft string used to clean between your teeth. You’ll control the floss with your fingers as you use it.
A tip to get started:
Stand in front of a mirror. You’ll watch where the thread is going, making the process easier.
- Cut a long piece of floss (at least 18 inches).
- Thread your floss up or down through the space between your teeth and the wire. Make sure you don’t pull on the wire as you do so.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers so the floss is stretched between your teeth and you can move it easily.
- Slide the floss up and down in between your teeth. Curving it around your tooth in a “C” shape gives maximum flossing coverage.
- Remove the floss from your fingers and carefully unthread it. You don’t want to pop your wire out of the bracket.
- Using a new section of floss, repeat steps two through five until you’ve flossed all your teeth.
Use wax-covered thread for flossing with braces. It’s soft and strong to get the job done without fraying.
While it sounds simple, some people have trouble threading their floss. If you do, check out a dental floss threader… This text opens a new tab to the colgate website….
How to floss with braces with floss threaders
It’s small, flexible, and looks kind of like a sewing needle (without the sharp, pointy end).
Here’s how to use one:
- Put your floss through the hole of the threader.
- Slide the threader between your braces’ wire and teeth, gently pull it through.
- Make sure to keep hold of your floss on both ends.
- Once your floss is threaded between your teeth, remove the threader if it gets in your way.
- Start flossing.
- Repeat steps one through 5 until you’ve flossed all your teeth.
Another alternative is a flossing pick.
How to floss with braces with floss picks
Dental floss picks… This text opens a new tab to the oralb website… are disposable products that hold a small piece of dental floss. You can find floss picks for braces in the same aisles as traditional floss.
Steps for using your flossing pick:
- Identify the end that fits between your wires and teeth (some have a thinner end).
- Line the floss part up between your teeth. You’ll want to stand in front of a mirror.
- Floss up and down between your teeth, just like you’re using regular floss.
- Be gentle and careful as you floss. You don’t want broken wires.
- Remove the flossing pick and repeat until you have flossed all your teeth.
Lastly, you might want to use the very popular water flosser… This text opens a new tab to the webmd website….
How to use a water flosser with braces
A water flosser is an oral irrigator that sprays a stream of water to remove food stuck in your teeth and along your gum lines.
This is a wonderful option if you or your child has difficulty with regular floss and braces.
- Fill the machine with water. With some models, you can add mouthwash if you choose.
- Make sure the tip of the flosser is on correctly. It can be messy if they aren’t.
- Point the flosser at the sink. Test the water stream and adjust the pressure to your comfort level.
- Put the flosser tip in your mouth and lean over the sink.
- Turn your flosser on and guide the water stream along your gum line and between all your teeth.
- Allow the water to drain from your mouth or spit it into the sink.
You may need to use your toothbrush to loosen food that’s not coming off with just the flosser.
Now you know:
How to floss your teeth even with braces.
Have more questions about flossing or braces?
It takes a bit of practice with any flossing tool, but you’ll be a ‘pro’ in no time.
Speaking of pros:
Have you met our favorite ‘pro’ for braces, Dr. Sarah Jovanovski (aka Dr. Jovan)?
Our Round Rock orthodontist uses her experience and skills to answer questions and guide patients during every step of their treatment.
Schedule your free consultation at Jovan Orthodontics.
Our orthodontic office is located in Round Rock, TX and proudly serves our surrounding areas, including Georgetown, Pflugerville, Hutto, Leander, Austin, Cedar Park, and Taylor.