How to Floss With Braces?

How to floss with braces

Maintaining your teeth while wearing braces is critical for both your smile and your general health. Flossing helps to clean those difficult-to-reach areas that your toothbrush may miss with all of the brackets and cables in the way. So, even if it takes longer, you must floss with braces and do it diligently between each tooth once a day.
Are you thinking – how to floss with braces? Well, there is not one but multiple techniques to do it right. Read on to learn the importance of flossing teeth with braces and the best way to floss with braces.

Why is it Critical to Floss With Braces?

If you didn’t floss regularly before receiving braces, now is the time to start. Braces make it easier for food and sweets to hide, yet floss can get to those hard-to-reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. Flossing not only cleans around braces and between teeth, but it also eliminates plaque build-up.
Regardless of which flossing technique you choose, regular flossing with braces is critical to preventing gum disease and tooth decay while your teeth straighten and your smile gets an incredible makeover!

How to Floss Teeth With Braces?

Flossing may seem like a daunting task with those metal brackets and wires bonded to your teeth. However, there are some handy tools to help you floss with braces. Check them out!

Traditional Flossing:

When wearing braces, you can floss with standard string floss using a floss threader or orthodontic flosser. So, how do you floss with braces with a threader? Here’s how:-

  1. Start by threading the floss under the wire of your braces and gently working it between your teeth.
  2. Use a gentle sawing motion to clean the sides of each tooth. Then, curve the floss into a “C” shape around the base of each tooth and carefully slide it under the gumline.

Pros of Using Traditional Flossing:-

  • It’s widely available and inexpensive.
  • It provides a thorough clean between teeth and under the gumline.

Cons of Using Traditional Flossing:-

  • Requires more dexterity and patience, especially with braces.
  • It can be time-consuming and challenging to maneuver around braces and wires.

Waterpik or Oral Irrigator

Using a Waterpik or oral irrigator can be a game-changer for flossing with braces in the following ways:-

  • Simply point the tip of the device between your teeth and along the gumline, allowing the pulsating water to remove plaque and debris.

Pros of Using Waterpik or Oral Irrigator:-

  • Efficiently removes plaque and food particles, especially around braces and wires.
  • Great for individuals with limited time and patience.

Cons of Using Waterpik or Oral Irrigator:-

  • The initial cost of the device may be higher.
  • It requires access to water and power sources for operation.

Dental Tape

Dental tape is broader and flatter than traditional floss, making it one of the best ways to floss with braces. Here’s how you can use it

  • It’s simple to slide between teeth and braces. Carefully guide the tape between your teeth and under the wire to clean those hard-to-reach areas.

Pros of Using Dental Tape:-

  • Wide surface area for effective plaque removal.
  • Glides smoothly between teeth and braces.

Cons of Using Dental Tape:-

  • It may not fit between teeth with very tight spaces.
  • Some individuals may find it less comfortable to use compared to traditional floss.

Top Benefits of Flossing Teeth With Braces

  • Flossing with braces provides the following incredible benefits that you don’t want to pass up:-
  • It helps to lower those annoying dental expenditures by preventing future problems.
  • It stimulates your gums, promoting their health and your happiness.
  • Flossing can also help minimize the risk of gum disease, which benefits your overall
  • dental health.
  • And, of course, don’t forget the benefit of fresh breath!

How to Floss With Braces: Some Smart Tips!

Here are some practical ways to make the process easier:

  • Take Your Time: Flossing with braces takes patience. Take your time gently guiding the floss around the brackets and cables.
  • Floss After Every Meal: Flossing after each meal helps to eliminate food particles that might become lodged in your braces. This way, you can reduce plaque
  • accumulation and avoid subsequent tooth problems.
  • Be Gentle: Flossing should be done gently. To avoid harming the braces or injuring your gums, move in a moderate back-and-forth motion.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Avoiding sticky and hard foods makes flossing with braces
  • much simpler because they are more likely to become trapped in your braces.

Do & Don’ts of Flossing With Braces

When it comes to flossing, there are some critical dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

  • Use dental association-approved high-quality floss.
  • Use one inch of floss every session.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Allocate at least a minute for flossing.
  • For teeth that are close together, use waxed floss.


  • Don’t hang back; ask your dentist for guidance with the flossing technique.
  • Don’t substitute brushing with Flossing. Both brushing and flossing with braces are
  • equally crucial for maintaining healthy teeth.
  • Never reuse floss. It is intended for one-time usage only.
  • Take your time, and don’t rush through it.
  • Do not floss too aggressively.

How Frequently Should You Floss?

Flossing 2-3 times each day is an adequate number. However, rushing it may result in missing a large amount of germs and debris. The trick is to floss slowly and properly at least once a day to clean the whole mouth.

Now that you are armed with the best ways to floss with braces, you can maintain excellent oral hygiene while undergoing your life-changing orthodontic treatment. These simple tips can make a big difference in your dental health.

However, there is no “one size fits all” technique for flossing with braces. So, experiment with these methods to find the one that suits you best. Remember, consistency is key! Let’s make sure those pearly whites stay healthy and sparkling! Happy flossing!

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Dr. Satish Pai

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. 

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