How to Floss with Braces

Flossing may feel more of a challenge when you have braces. Also, many people believe they don’t need to floss when wearing them, but this isn’t the case. 

Daily flossing is more important than ever if you have braces, as food particles are easily trapped between the brace wires and bands. As a result, you will have an increased risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Protect your smile by reading the following advice on how to floss with braces.

Master Traditional Flossing with Braces

Traditional flossing is the best way to clean between teeth and remove plaque, but it can feel difficult when wearing braces. 

Prepare to spend approximately three times longer on the process to effectively care for your teeth and gums. It will provide plenty of time to remove food debris and ensure your teeth look and feel clean and healthy once the braces are removed.

Always floss your teeth with waxed floss. Avoid using unwaxed floss, as it can suddenly tear and may become stuck between the metal brackets. 

Aim to cut an 18- or 24-inch piece of floss before threading it between the primary wire and your teeth. Wrap the ends around your index fingers to guide the thread between your teeth and use a mirror for guidance.

Slide the floss up and down the sides of your teeth, gently pressing between them. Make a U-shape with the floss to clean your top teeth and move the wax floss up one side of the tooth toward the gumline. Once you have done so, move the floss down the side of the neighboring tooth. Repeat the process across your top teeth to care for your oral health each day.

However, you must be cautious when flossing with braces. For instance, you must avoid popping the floss from your tooth, as it could knock the wires and force them to pop out of the bracket. 

If in doubt, ask your dentist for guidance on how to thread the floss between your teeth.

Use a Handy Floss Threader

A floss threader can make traditional flossing easier when wearing braces. The small, plastic tool is affordable to buy in most stores, and you can use it to pull the floss behind your brace wires. It could reduce the time it takes to care for your oral health.

Use a waxed floss threader and insert the plastic needle underneath the brace wires before gently moving it through, holding the tool in one hand. Remain in control of the thin thread by wrapping it around your index fingers.

Try a Water Flosser

A water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator or Waterpik, is a handy tool that can support good flossing, especially when wearing braces. 

You can use it to apply a steady stream of water into your mouth, which can effectively clean between your teeth and care for your gum line. 

It takes approximately three to five minutes to floss your teeth when using the device, and some even have special tips for cleaning around brace brackets and between your teeth.

It is easy to use a water flosser. Get started by adding water or mouthwash to the machine’s reservoir. Next, insert a tapered tip onto the flosser, which you must test to ensure it has the correct pressure for you. 

Once you are happy, lean over a sink before placing the flosser tip in your mouth and turning it on. Stop water from splashing outside your mouth by loosely closing your lips. However, allow the water to drain from your mouth when gliding it between each tooth and along your gumline.

Some people find it helpful to gently brush a tooth and its brackets before spraying them with a water flosser.

Once you have finished, pour away excess water from its reservoir and dry the tip before placing it inside a closed container.

Use Dental Tape for Sensitive Gums

If you didn’t floss between your teeth before receiving braces, you may find traditional flossing a little painful at first. 

Unhealthy gums will likely become inflamed and may bleed when you floss for the first time. However, regular flossing will gradually improve your gum’s health, increasing your comfort each time you floss.

However, if your gums feel too sensitive during flossing, dental tape is an ideal solution. It is a smooth, soft floss that is much thinner than traditional floss, and it is as wide as a ribbon to quickly glide between your teeth. Also, you can follow the same technique as traditional flossing.

Book a Professional Dental Cleaning for a Deep Clean 

In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing, it is crucial to attend regular dental cleanings to protect your oral health. 

Despite your best efforts, you may have missed various hard-to-reach areas when flossing, which is why you must schedule a professional cleaning every three months at a reputable dental office. 

Deep cleaning around the brackets and hardware will ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums when wearing braces while preventing staining.


Dental braces will provide many oral health benefits, which makes them worth the time and effort. 

In addition to enhancing your smile and appearance, braces will reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as food particles are less likely to become trapped between your teeth and gums once removed. 

What’s more, straight, healthy teeth will prevent dental injuries, improve your bite, avoid bone erosion, and make brushing and flossing your teeth a breeze.

Of course, brushing and flossing might feel more of a challenge when wearing braces, but the right techniques and a little extra effort will ensure your teeth look and feel clean and healthy day after day. 

Develop a gorgeous smile and care for your oral health by booking an appointment at bafdentistry. Our friendly, helpful team will make you feel relaxed and welcome from the moment you arrive and we provide a variety of dental services to match your needs, including a full oral exam, braces, professional cleanings, and much more.