woman using Waterpik to floss with braces

Flossing with Braces

Team Oral Health, Orthodontics

Flossing with braces is even more important than flossing your teeth without wearing them. Why? Because plaque can build up behind braces, and cause cavities. So, whether you’re fitted with traditional metal braces or more unobtrusive ceramic brackets, don’t forget to floss! 

Here are some tips for the best ways to floss in all areas of your teeth when wearing braces.

Flossing Your Back Teeth

When wearing braces, it's those back teeth that can seem the most challenging to floss. But they’re also the teeth that are most likely to experience plaque build-up. Waxed floss makes it easier to floss this area of your mouth than unwaxed types; it’s easier to slide between your teeth and the braces themselves.

Be sure to use an adequately long floss strand, about 12 to 18 inches, and then simply, but  patiently, thread the floss between one tooth and next, and the archwire that holds your braces in place. 

Wrap the ends of your floss around your two index fingers, moving the floss in a gentle, circular 

motion between teeth and brace wire and the teeth themselves. 

Flossing Your Front Teeth

You’ll find the same techniques of patient flossing works best for your front teeth, too. Be sure to move the floss gently between teeth and between the archwire and your teeth here as well. However, you’ll find that it’s somewhat easier to reach the front teeth than back. 

Using a Floss Threader

Flossing front or back teeth is easier while wearing braces if you can use a floss threader. A threader is somewhat like a large plastic needle with an eye that’s large, too. A threader makes it much simpler to place a piece of floss through that eye, manipulating the thin end of the threader in between your braces.

Then, you can easily and gently move the floss to clean between your teeth. You’ll have to run  the floss threader between every two teeth and also between the gaps in your braces. You’ll want to use a new floss section for each area of your teeth.

Flossing Using a Floss Pick 

Although smaller than a floss threader, floss picks are similar in the way that they work. These more compact flossing tools feature a small plastic arc that holds a stretched floss piece. The thin end can simply fit between your teeth and braces, eliminating the need to use a threader each time.

A branded Platypus tool is similar, also allowing you to move floss between teeth and braces more easily without having to use a threader.

Flossing with a Water Jet

When wearing braces, using a water jet to floss is a lot simpler than using conventional floss, even with a threader or floss pick. A water jet works by simply shooting out a stream of pressurized water between your teeth and braces, effectively cleaning them. And, not only is a water jet easier to use than floss, it can more effectively reach those hard-to-reach places between your braces and your teeth, too.

Desert Orthodontics Offers Braces of All Types

Whether you choose metal or ceramic braces, or Invisalign removable plastic aligners, we can help. So,if you’re ready to explore your options for braces, at Desert Orthodontics, we’re here. For more information, a free consultation, or to schedule an appointment, reach out to us today!