Can You Floss with Braces? Glow Orthodontics Q & A

Can You Floss with Braces? Glow Orthodontics Q & A

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial, especially for individuals with braces, as they face unique challenges in keeping their teeth clean. Braces can trap food particles and plaque, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay if not addressed diligently.

This article answers “Can you floss with braces?” We will also show you an effective way of flossing with braces to ensure optimal oral health. We will provide essential tips for a healthy and confident smile throughout their braces journey.


girl flossing


Why is Flossing with Braces So Important?


Flossing with braces is paramount due to the unique challenges wearers face in maintaining proper oral hygiene. Braces create small crevices and spaces where food particles can easily become trapped, accumulating plaque and bacteria around the brackets and wires.

This buildup can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues if left unaddressed. Therefore, incorporating effective flossing techniques tailored to braces is crucial for preventing these complications and ensuring a healthy smile throughout the orthodontic treatment.

Traditional flossing methods may prove insufficient for individuals wearing braces, as the wires and brackets can hinder smooth flossing along the gum line and between the teeth. This is where floss threaders and dental tape become invaluable tools.

Floss threaders allow wearers to thread dental floss under the wires, enabling them to reach those hard-to-reach areas and effectively remove food particles and plaque. Dental tape, wider and flatter than regular floss, can slide more easily between the braces, offering a thorough clean without causing discomfort or damage to the orthodontic appliances.

Moreover, the type of floss chosen plays a significant role in the efficacy of braces flossing. Traditional waxed floss may be prone to shredding when used with braces, making unwaxed floss or floss specifically designed for braces the better option.

Additionally, incorporating fluoride toothpaste into the daily oral care routine further strengthens teeth and aids in preventing cavities during the orthodontic treatment period. For those who find traditional flossing methods challenging, alternatives such as water flossers can also be considered, as they provide a gentle yet effective way of cleaning between the teeth and around the braces.


girl flossing


How to Floss with Braces Using a Floss Threader


Flossing with braces using a floss threader is highly effective for maintaining excellent oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. This technique allows individuals to navigate the spaces between wires and brackets, ensuring the removal of food debris and plaque that may otherwise lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

If you’re wearing dental braces, incorporating flossing with a floss threader into your daily oral care routine can help you achieve a healthy and confident smile.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to master the process:


Step 1: Gather your tools


Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary tools: a floss threader, dental floss, and fluoride toothpaste. Floss threaders are available at most drugstores and are designed to assist in flossing with braces.

Choose dental floss compatible with your braces, such as waxed or floss designed for orthodontics. Fluoride toothpaste helps strengthen your teeth and protect against cavities.


Step 2: Prepare the floss threader


Take a length of dental floss (about 18 inches) and thread one end through the loop of the floss threader. Pull the floss through the loop until you have an equal length of floss on both sides of the threader.


Step 3: Position the floss threader


Carefully guide the floss threader under the archwire of your braces. This can be done by inserting the pointed end of the threader between the wire and your teeth and then pulling it through.

Make sure the floss is positioned below the wire, allowing you to access the spaces between your teeth and braces.


Step 4: Floss between your teeth


Hold the floss with both hands, one on each end, and gently slide it between two teeth. Be cautious not to snap or apply too much force on the wire.

As you floss, move the threader up and down to clean the entire area between the teeth and braces, effectively removing any trapped food particles and plaque.


Step 5: Repeat and rinse


Continue using the floss threader to floss between all your teeth, taking your time to ensure a thorough clean. Once flossed in all areas, rinse your mouth with water or an antiseptic mouthwash to remove any loosened debris.


Step 6: Consider additional cleaning methods


While flossing with a floss threader is essential for braces maintenance, consider incorporating other interdental cleaning tools, such as interdental brushes or a water flosser with a flosser tip.

These tools can reach areas that traditional string floss may miss, providing comprehensive oral care during orthodontic treatment.


girl flossing


Is Traditional Floss Worth It?


Traditional floss is a tried and tested method for interdental cleaning involving a thin piece of dental floss to remove plaque and food particles between teeth. While it has been a staple in oral hygiene routines for decades, its effectiveness and convenience have been questioned, particularly for individuals who wear braces.

Traditional flossing can be highly effective for those without braces when done correctly and regularly. It can access tight spaces between teeth where toothbrushes cannot reach, preventing plaque buildup and reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. However, when it comes to flossing with braces, traditional floss can become more challenging to use.

The wires and brackets of braces can obstruct smooth flossing, making it difficult to properly navigate the floss between the teeth and around the braces. This may lead to frustration, longer cleaning times, and increased gum bleeding for those not accustomed to flossing with braces.


Final Words


Maintaining proper oral hygiene while wearing braces is essential to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental issues. Flossing with braces can be challenging, but it becomes more manageable with the right techniques and tools like floss threaders and dental tape.

If you have braces and need guidance on flossing effectively or have any other orthodontic concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Glow Orthodontics. Our team of experienced professionals provides personalized care and expert advice to help you maintain excellent oral health during your braces journey.