How to Floss With Braces

Food can get stuck between your child’s braces very easily.  It is critical that they learn how to properly care for their teeth, gums, and braces throughout their treatment in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums.  Although it may appear difficult at first, flossing with braces becomes easier with practice.

Flossing with braces

Flossing after each meal will keep your teeth and braces clean, which will help you stay on track with your treatment. When flossing with braces, thread the floss behind each wire with a floss threader or special orthodontic floss. Wrap the floss ends around both hands’ pointer fingers, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. Using a back-and-forth motion, gently slide the floss between each set of teeth. Floss beneath the gum line on the sides of each tooth to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this procedure until all of your teeth have been flossed.

  • What is the purpose of flossing?

    According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), flossing is just as important as brushing in a well-executed oral hygiene regimen.  Brushes are great for cleaning plaque off the front and back surfaces of the teeth, but they can’t get to the sides, in between the teeth, or along the gumline.  Bacteria feed on food debris in the mouth.  Acid is produced by bacteria in the mouth, which causes bad breath and wears down tooth enamel.  Flossing removes the majority of the acid-producing food debris, resulting in healthier teeth and cleaner breath.

  • Is flossing with braces possible?

    Orthodontics is a treatment that straightens your teeth, but the procedures used can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Flossing is not only possible, but also necessary to keep your teeth healthy if you have braces. Your orthodontist and dentist can provide you with tools to help you floss and brush effectively even if you have braces.

  • The pros/cons of regular floss:

    Dental floss is an inexpensive and effective way to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. It has the ability to scrape plaque off the sides of each individual tooth and is excellent at reaching those tight spaces in between your teeth. This is significant because it removes plaque before it hardens into tartar, preventing tooth decay and gingivitis.

  • Wearing Braces and What Happens When You Don’t Floss

    Bacteria multiply every time you eat or drink. According to studies, poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment leads to plaque accumulation. As a result, flossing is required in addition to daily brushing to remove debris between teeth. This is due to the fact that food particles can hide in crevices, which are difficult to reach with just a toothbrush.

  • When to Floss | How Often Do You Need to Floss Your Teeth With Braces?

    What is the best time to floss during the day? The American Dental Association recommends flossing only once a day. When should you floss, though? For some people, flossing in the morning makes sense because they want to start the day with clean teeth. Others prefer flossing at night before bed because it removes any build-up that may have occurred during the day’s meals. Flossing after a mid-day meal is another option for keeping teeth clean all day. The truth is that the best time to floss is when it is most convenient for you. Because flossing every day is so important, it doesn’t matter when your teeth are cleaned as long as it happens on a regular basis.

    When you have braces, we recommend flossing at least once a day. You can floss whenever you have time with your dental floss or orthodontic flosser, and there are no hard and fast rules about when to floss. Flossing at night, on the other hand, is an effective way to remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles that have accumulated throughout the day.

  • Flossing with braces takes too long

    We understand that flossing isn’t always as quick as you’d like, especially when your appliance gets in the way. You may find that using waxed floss, a floss threader, or even an interdental toothbrush makes the job go faster and easier. It doesn’t matter which method you use as long as you’re thorough and careful.

How to floss with braces

Food can get stuck between your child’s braces very easily. It is critical that they learn how to properly care for their teeth, gums, and braces throughout their treatment in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Although it may appear difficult at first, flossing with braces becomes easier with practice. Flossing with braces can be stressful, especially when dentists recommend it on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are less difficult options.

  • Step By Step Instructions For Flossing With Braces

    The archwire, a wire that runs through each brace and connects them, makes flossing with braces extremely difficult. This wire makes it impossible to floss your teeth the traditional way because it prevents the floss from reaching all the way up between your teeth. Thankfully, there is a way to get around this snag.

    • Step 1

      Wrap the ends of a long piece of dental floss around your index fingers while flossing (approximately 18cm).

    • Step 2

      One end of the floss should be threaded between the wire and your teeth. The floss should be positioned so that it is parallel to the gap between your teeth. Moveable gum tissue fills this space.
      This step can be made easier with the use of floss threaders or superfloss.

    • Step 3

      To gain more control of the floss, wrap the ends around your index fingers. The greater your control over the motion, the less likely you are to injure your gums.

    • Step 4

      Wiggle the floss between your teeth with firm but gentle pressure to remove all food particles and plaque build-up.

    • Step 5

      Work your way around the mouth with this gentle technique.

  • How often should you floss with braces?

    Because flossing is so important for tooth health, it is recommended that you floss at least once a day in addition to brushing your teeth twice a day. Remember to do it on a daily basis as part of your oral hygiene routine. Regardless of which dental braces services you choose, thorough cleaning appears to be essential for achieving the desired result.

  • How to Floss With Braces Using a Floss Threader

    Flossing with braces is a little easier with a floss threader. It’s a flexible plastic piece with a loop on the end that turns regular floss into floss for braces or restorations such as fixed bridgework. There are also versions with a stiffened end, such as Super Floss.

  • Use Ordinary Dental Floss

    There are a few things to keep in mind when using regular dental floss. Because there is so much metal to catch floss on with braces, you’ll want to be extra careful and use waxed floss. Use waxed floss instead of unwaxed floss because it is more likely to get stuck.

  • Use Dental Tape

    If you have sensitive teeth in general, flossing can be quite painful. This is usually caused by not having a good flossing routine in place prior to getting braces. Now, flossing not only makes your gums bloody and sore, but the pain is exacerbated by the pressure from your braces. We recommend using dental tape in these circumstances.

  • What is the Best Floss for Braces?

    Waxed dental floss is recommended because unwaxed floss can be shredded by brackets and wires. Also, floss that hasn’t been waxed is more likely to get stuck in your braces. Aside from that, the best braces floss is a matter of personal preference.

Flossing Alternatives

  • Use a Waterpik

    • What is a Waterpik?

      You might want to floss your teeth with a Waterpik. A Waterpik cleans your gum line and in between your teeth with a steady stream of water. Because this device is so effective at cleaning and flossing your teeth, you’ll only need to floss your teeth for 3 to 5 minutes.

    • Waterpik is actually a brand of water flosser.

      It’s similar to how Ziploc® has come to be synonymous with all plastic baggies, or how some people refer to all tissues as Kleenex®. A water flosser, also known as a powered interdental cleaner if you want to get technical, is a handheld device that contains a water reservoir. It also has a motor and a pump that create a stream of pressurized water that pushes the water out of the reservoir and into your mouth through the tip. Food particles, plaque, and bacteria are all washed away by the water that flows through your teeth and under your gums. It also stimulates your gums, which helps them to be healthier. Once you get the hang of it, the procedure is simple and comfortable.

    • How Effective is the Waterpik?

      The Waterpik cleans up to 50% more effectively than flossing. We were eager to put it to the test. We used the Waterpik as an alternative to flossing after a typical day of meals, drinks, snacks, and dessert. We continued with our normal brushing routine, then rinsed our mouths thoroughly with mouthwash. At first glance, the Waterpik appears to have done a good job.

    • How to Use a Waterpik With Braces

      To dislodge food particles and get your teeth and gums extra clean, use a Waterpik for braces in addition to your once-daily flossing. Many water flosser brands have orthodontic tips specifically designed for use with braces. Waterpik tips come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but studies show that a specialized orthodontic tip is the most effective for braces patients.

  • The pros/cons of waterpiks

    Waterpiks are gentle on the gums and are less likely to cause bleeding in those who have sensitive teeth or gums. They’re also great for people who have braces because the water can get behind the metal wires and flush out food particles that floss can’t reach. Waterpiks can also help people with gum disease by flushing bacteria out of deep pockets that form when the gums pull away from the teeth.

  • Why Use the Waterpik as an Alternative to Flossing?

    It does have some advantages, such as appealing to children and teenagers as a simple and quick cleaning method. It’s great for flossing braces between meals because it’s so good at removing large food particles.

  • What is the best Waterpik for Braces?

    Choose a waterpik with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval if you want the best waterpik for braces. However, the waterpik tips are more important than the actual tool. Because it’s designed specifically for cleaning between and around fixed orthodontic appliances like braces, a specialized orthodontic tip with a tapered brush will give you the best results. Every three months, replace your tip.

  • Water Flossers

    Another popular tool for flossing with braces is a water flosser, also known as an “oral irrigator.” Water flossers, as the name implies, are flossing devices that remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth using a stream of pulsating water. Water flossers not only remove plaque but also improve the health of your gums.

    The machine has a water reservoir that is connected to a toothbrush-like device. You can boost the antibacterial protection provided by your water flosser by mixing mouthwash into the water.

  • Floss picks for braces

    Floss picks are another more convenient option for people with braces. These are forked pieces of plastic with a length of floss attached, allowing one-handed flossing. There are many on the market for regular flossing, but not all of them are appropriate for people who wear braces.

Why Flossing Is Important When You’re Wearing Braces

Flossing your teeth every day is essential for maintaining your oral health, whether you have braces or not. Flossing removes plaque and food debris that your toothbrush can’t reach between the teeth and along the gumline. Flossing is responsible for approximately 40% of plaque removal. Brushing and flossing together reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

  • What happens if you don’t floss while you have braces?

    Flossing is just as important with braces as it is without them, despite the fact that it is more difficult. You allow bacteria-filled plaque to accumulate between your teeth and along the gum line if you don’t floss. This can eventually lead to issues such as bad breath and periodontitis.

  • What are Braces Stains?

    When your braces are removed, you may notice yellow or brown stains on your teeth as a result of cavities, tobacco use, or consuming a lot of acidic or highly pigmented foods and beverages. Braces stains, on the other hand, are most commonly seen as white spots on the teeth near or under the braces brackets. The white spots on your teeth are areas of decalcification, or early decay. Plaque and bacteria have more places to hide in your brackets, and if they aren’t removed, the plaque releases acids that erode tooth enamel and cause mineral loss, or decalcification.

Floss Fundamentals

Flossing at least once a day is necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. However, how do you get floss past your braces’ archwire? With a floss threader, it’s not so difficult. It’s a bit like threading a needle when you use this device: Pull one end of the floss through the threader, then push the threader under the archwire, carrying the free end of the floss. Now take each end of the floss and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, as well as under the gums, until you hear a squeaky sound. Finally, pull it out and move on to the next area with a new section of floss.

The Tools: What Are the Best Flossing Tools for Braces?

There are some special tools that may help you clean the areas near brackets and wires if you’re having trouble cleaning them.

  • Interdental toothbrush

    The interdental toothbrush is one of them. Like a pipe cleaner, it has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around it. Clean the tiny spaces under wires, around bands and brackets with it gently and carefully.

  • The Right Kind of Floss to Use

    Waxed and unwaxed floss are the two types of traditional floss. Plastic or flaxen fibers are woven together to form a string or line to make floss. The fibers are naturally spun without a coating to keep them together in unwaxed floss. Using floss that hasn’t been waxed runs the risk of fraying, catching, or becoming stuck in your braces. Unwaxed floss can fray and tear when it rubs against metal wires and brackets in braces because the fibers are exposed. Waxed floss has a wax coating that keeps the fibers together and prevents fraying when they come into contact with metal wires. Waxed floss is less prone to fraying and catching, making flossing with braces a breeze.

  • Stiff-Ended Floss

    This special floss, which has a bendable but rigid segment at one end, works similarly to a floss threader. Oral-Super B’s Floss, for example, contains three distinct components: a stiffened-end dental floss threader, spongy floss, and regular floss.

  • Supplement with an electric flosser

    A thin stream of water, or air and water, is injected between teeth and along the gum line by these devices (such as a Waterpik or an AirFloss). Electric flossers can be used by anyone, but they are especially beneficial for people who have braces. Orthodontia tips are available from some manufacturers. Cleaning and rinsing around brackets is made easier with these tapered attachments. If you want to try using an electric flosser but aren’t sure which one to get, consult your orthodontist, general dentist, or dental hygienist for recommendations based on your specific needs.<

  • The Best Floss Strands With Built-In Threaders

    Oral-B Super Floss is highly recommended by dentists and is also very popular. DenTek floss threaders work like a large needle: thread the traditional floss through the threader, then gently pull it through. The floss threaders come in a plastic case that is easy to pack away for travel and can be used with any type of traditional floss.

  • The Best Orthodontic Flossers

    Platypus Orthodontic Flossers For Braces are a great option if you’re used to flossing with a floss pick rather than traditional floss. There’s no need to thread the floss pick; simply slide it under your braces to clean.

  • Try a waxed floss

    Dental floss that hasn’t been waxed is more likely to snag on braces and leave traces of floss behind. When flossing with braces, it’s best to use waxed floss and a floss threader, as waxed floss will slide more easily between each tooth without snagging. Gently slide the floss string up into the gum line of both teeth as you work. Then, before moving on to the next tooth, remove the floss and threader.

Brushing with braces

Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for two minutes after each meal. You can also use a powered toothbrush to improve the effectiveness of your brushing. Brush your teeth on the outside and inside surfaces in small, gentle circular motions, keeping the toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth as well as the inside surface of your front teeth with short, gentle back-and-forth motions. Keep an eye on the areas around your brackets and other appliances.

  • Should You Floss or Brush First?

    Should you brush or floss first? The efficacy of flossing before or after brushing was investigated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Periodontology. Flossing before brushing removed significantly more plaque from between the teeth and throughout the mouth. Those who flossed before brushing had a higher fluoride concentration in their toothpaste. Fluoride aids in the eradication of plaque and the strengthening of enamel. As a result, if at all possible, we recommend flossing first and then brushing.

    Brushing alone is not enough!

Take Care of Your Gums After Braces

You might want to use the sensitive mode of your Oral-B Electric Toothbrush while wearing braces. The sensitive mode oscillates at a slower speed to provide extra comfort and care along the gum line—and around brackets and orthodontic wires.

Other Care Considerations while Wearing Braces

Your orthodontist will provide instructions regarding how to take care of your braces.
If wires break, you might need to make an appointment to have them repaired.
If the wires irritate your lips or tongue, you can use wax to protect the soft tissues from the sharp edges.

Using fluoridated toothpaste or adding a fluoride rinse to your routine can help prevent white spots (decalcification) and decay.
It’s also important to continue your regular dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment.

  • Plan Regular Checkups | Visit the Dentist Regularly

    Seeing your orthodontist for checkups and adjustments is essential.
    He or she can repair broken pieces, answer general questions, and address any irregularities such as cavities or gingivitis.
    Your dental professional may recommend a fluoride treatment as a precaution.
    You should have regular dental cleanings as long as you have braces.
    Your dentist can help you address any problems with brushing and flossing due to your braces.

  • Keep Up Good Oral Hygiene Habits

    Having good oral hygiene habits when you have braces can help you get the smile of your dreams.
    When you get your braces off, you need to make sure to keep this good oral hygiene routine in check.
    Make sure to visit your general dentist for regular cleanings.

  • Kids Might Need Help Flossing

    If your young children are wearing braces, they may not have the manual dexterity necessary to effectively floss.
    While your children are flossing, have them sit in a bright and open area.

Related Questions:

  • Can I Floss With Invisalign®?

    If you choose to straighten your teeth with Invisalign®, it is critical that you maintain good oral hygiene. Patients with Invisalign® find flossing much easier than patients with traditional metal braces. Simply remove your Invisalign® aligners and place them in a safe place while brushing and flossing between teeth when you’re ready. To clean your clear aligners, avoid using toothpaste or mouthwash; instead, use the cleaning solution provided by your dentist.

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