How to Floss with Braces

It’s definitely harder to keep your teeth clean while wearing orthodontic braces (not invisalign braces). Toothbrushes aren’t able to reach every facet of the tooth, and flossing seems nearly impossible with the wires extending over the teeth. However, this doesn’t mean that wearers of braces can take a break from flossing. It’s actually more important at this time than ever to floss, thanks to the toothbrush not being able to reach between the teeth as easily.

The question is, how do you floss with braces? You can floss the area of your teeth outside of the orthodontic wire, but the gumline portion is a bit trickier.

Dental Threader for FlossThere is a cheap flossing tool available at most pharmacies–and you can ask your dentist for a pack, too–that resembles a sewing threader. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a fine piece of plastic with a loop on one end. Insert the floss through the loop, and then push the tail end of the threader between your teeth at the gumline. Pull the tail all the way through, and the floss will follow, allowing you to floss near the gumline. Gently floss along the edges of the teeth, and then hold it vertically so you can sweep and clean around the individual brackets, which is where plaque mostly accumulates for braces patients.

As simple as this process is, be aware that it is a bit more time consuming than flossing without braces. The floss must be threaded for each individual space between the teeth, so the process is a bit more tedious as well.

Don’t get discouraged, though! The last thing you want after spending months in braces is to have plaque-ridden and stained teeth once the brackets are removed. Like wearing the braces, flossing with them is not convenient, but it’s a huge step toward ensuring a beautiful smile in the end.

Be sure to ask your dentist for threaders and more information on how to properly clean your teeth and your braces.