So you’re preparing for your new life with braces and you’re wondering how to floss properly. It’s a fair question! Flossing with braces does require some minor adjustments.
That’s why we’re here to support you with a complete guide to flossing with braces—because it doesn’t have to be complicated!
Do I have to floss with braces?
First things first, can we just neglect flossing altogether during our treatment? Wouldn’t that be the easiest option…
Yes, neglecting your floss would require the least work now—but you’ll be paying for it very soon by risking gum disease, cavities and bad breath (yikes).
Flossing is absolutely essential—with or without braces. No matter the type of orthodontic treatment you choose (Invisalign® or braces) or if you don’t undergo treatment at all, you still need to make flossing a part of your daily oral hygiene regimen.
As the ADA (American Dental Association) says, “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.”
Your toothbrush brushes the surfaces of your teeth, but think of all the spaces between your teeth, where food particles get stuck and bacteria starts to build up over time.
Everytime you eat, there’s a good chance that you’re leaving food particles behind.
Not flossing with braces will cause food to continue building between your teeth throughout the day, leading to plaque build-up, gum disease, and cavities.
How often should I floss with braces?
Flossing your teeth once a day is required, but twice a day is preferred.
How to Floss with Braces: Step-by-Step
Did you know:
- 73% of people say flosses, picks, and other tools are difficult to maneuver
- 92% of people would floss more if it was easier
There are a number of different types of flosses, specially-designed for maneuvering around braces and between teeth for that exact reason! Nobody should feel discouraged from flossing. It doesn’t have to be difficult.
That’s why floss threaders and super floss are super ideal alternatives to traditional waxed floss. Here’s how to floss with each type during your orthodontic treatment:
One of the best, specialized flossing tools for braces is the floss threader. The floss threader makes it extremely easy to reach the spaces between each tooth.
Here’s how to floss with braces, using a floss threader:
- Pass a bit of floss through the floss threader loop
- String the floss threader underneath your archwire
- Once the floss is under the archwire, you can floss as you normally would without braces
- Repeat these steps for each tooth!
Super floss is essentially a string of floss with a firm end that can be pushed through the teeth. Super floss works similarly to a floss threader, except you don’t have to “string” the floss through. You simply direct the solid finish of floss underneath your archwire, between your teeth, and floss your teeth as normal.
Traditional Waxed Floss
Traditional waxed floss isn’t the easiest floss to use with braces, because it isn’t specialized to maneuver between brackets and wires. If you choose to use traditional floss, here’s how to do it:
- Take a piece of floss (long enough to have about one to two inches of floss between your fingers).
- Thread the floss through the gap between your teeth and the archwire, where two teeth meet.
- Pull the floss through and floss normally between the teeth. Be careful not to pull downward with the floss, so you don’t pop your archwire out of place.
- Remove the floss, and thread it again through each tooth the same way.
Flossing with traditional floss is typically the more challenging route, so we suggest using a specialized flosser to make your regimen as simple as possible. Dedicate about 5 to 10 minutes to your brushing and flossing regimen every night to keep your teeth beautiful and healthy.
Taking care of your teeth is how you experience the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment. When you take care of your teeth, they take care of you! Your teeth will reward you with a healthy, radiant smile.
Still have questions about flossing with braces?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about flossing with braces when you visit us for your complimentary consultation! Our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Saxe and Dr. Drowley, are here for you and your family every step of the way.
Our goal is for you to leave your first visit with all of the information you need to undergo a successful, happy treatment experience. We’ll show you how to properly floss with braces, and discuss proper oral hygiene care.