Everything You Need To Know About Flossing With Braces

January 11th, 2023

When it comes to maintaining your oral health, it is vital that you remember to brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly. Many of us often neglect the first step in an effective oral health routine– flossing.

If you are currently going through Invisalign® treatment or wearing metal braces, flossing is even more detrimental to your dream smile and overall health. You should continue to floss regularly in order to avoid the risk of gum disease and tooth decay while your Invisalign® retainers or braces align your smile.

Some people may find it tricky to floss their teeth with braces using the traditional flossing method. Luckily, flossing techniques have greatly evolved in recent years. If traditional dental floss isn’t your cup of tea, read on to learn about other flossing tools.


Water Flossers

For the person who finds traditional dental floss too tricky to work with, a water flosser is an excellent choice. Water flossers work by spraying a strong blast of water towards your teeth in order to remove sugar, food, and plaque. This tool is particularly effective for cleaning around your brackets and wires.


How To Floss With A Water Flosser

  1. Fill up your water flosser’s reservoir with room temperature water and place the tip of the flosser on the handle. Tooth Tip: For an extra deep clean, you can add antibacterial mouthwash into the reservoir!
  2. Set the pressure level at low on your water flosser and press send to test the pressure level. If the pressure level is at an appropriate setting, place the water flosser in your mouth and turn it on.(If you are undergoing Invisalign® treatment, remove your retainers before cleaning your teeth).
  3. Begin cleaning at your back teeth, spraying water directly at the gum line, and moving towards your front teeth. Guide the flosser slowly from your gum to your teeth. Make sure to spray around the base of each tooth and directly at your bracket if you are wearing braces.


Our Dentists Recommended Water FlosserS

[caption id="attachment_197" align="alignnone" width="300"] Waterpik Cordless Pearl Rechargeable Portable Water Flosser for Teeth, Gums, Braces Care and Travel with 4 Flossing Tips, ADA Accepted, WF-13 White[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_198" align="alignnone" width="300"] Water Flosser Advanced, Portable Oral Irrigator Handle[/caption]



Orthodontic Flosser/Floss Picks

For the person who wants a simple yet effective flossing method, look no further! Orthodontic flossers are disposable plastic tools that tightly hold floss between two arms. These handy flossers are equipped with a thin handle to effortlessly maneuver between those hard to reach spots.

How To Floss With An Orthodontic Flosser/Floss Pick

  1. Hold your floss pick by the handle and position the string between your teeth towards the gumline.
  2. Slide the floss in between your teeth, following a “C” motion for each tooth.
  3. Be sure to rinse the flosser in between teeth!

Dental Floss

If you were an avid flosser before braces or Invisalign® treatment, then traditional dental floss may still be ideal for you! However, wearing braces or Invisalign® clear retainers means that you should be flossing more often daily. Waxed floss is ideal for those who have braces as unwaxed floss can shred and leave pieces of floss in between your teeth.

Another similar alternative to traditional dental floss is dental tape. Dental tape is flatter and thicker than dental floss, making it easier to wrap around your fingers and to get in between large spaces. Dental tape also comes waxed for safer cleaning.


How To Floss With Dental Floss Or Dental Tape

  1. Wrap 18 inches of floss or tape around your middle fingers. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving an inch in between.
  2. Keep 1-2 inches of floss in between your fingers. Use your index fingers to guide floss between your lower teeth.
  3. Gently guide the floss in between your teeth in a zigzag motion. DO NOT SNAP THE FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH!
  4. Slide floss up and down against the tooth and under the gum line. Floss each tooth with a clean section of floss!


Our Dentists Recommended Dental Floss

[caption id="attachment_199" align="alignnone" width="300"] Cocofloss Pure Strawberry Dental Floss[/caption]


How Often Should I Floss?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. There is no exact time when you should floss as some people prefer to floss after lunch and some prefer to floss before bedtime.


Should I Floss Before Or After Brushing?

Contrary to popular belief, studies show that flossing first and following up with brushing is the most effective order to remove interdental plaque. The reason why this method is more effective is because flossing loosens up plaque and food. During brushing, it is easier to remove the plaque and food.

How To Floss With Braces

Although it may seem virtually impossible to floss with braces, have no fear! With practice and consistency, you’ll be a pro in no time. Flossing with braces is similar to flossing without braces, the only difference is you should thread the floss through the gaps behind your wires.


Schedule Your FREE braces or Invisalign consultation

Are you ready to achieve your dream smile? Mission Dental Care can help you align your smile in as little as 6 months! Schedule your FREE consultation for metal braces or  Invisalign® treatment with a Top 1% Diamond Provider today.

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