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Flossing Best Practices for Braces

While we aim to floss every day, braces can get in the way of a good clean. Even though flossing with braces can be a bit more challenging, it’s an important step in your dental hygiene routine that can’t be skipped. Without flossing, you’re susceptible to infections, tooth decay, and tooth loss — you could even damage your braces! In this blog, we’ll highlight the best practices for flossing with braces, including:

  • Why you need to floss with braces
  • Proper flossing technique
  • The best types of floss
  • How often you should floss

Why You Need to Floss with Braces

Any dentist or orthodontist will tell you that it’s important to floss. But, it’s even more crucial that you floss if you have traditional or clear braces. The brackets and wires involved with this type of treatment make it much easier for food particles to get stuck between the teeth and around the braces themselves. Without proper removal, these food particles can become a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause all kinds of dental issues, like:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease

Not flossing when you have braces can also damage the bands and brackets that keep your braces intact, as well. So, if you want to protect your teeth and your investment in braces, be sure to take flossing seriously.

Proper Flossing Technique

Because traditional braces keep floss from being able to reach all the way up between your teeth, it’s hard to really make sure you’re getting your mouth clean. But, don’t give up on flossing just yet! Try using the proper flossing technique to help keep your teeth and braces free of food debris:

  • Thread your floss through each gap behind the wire of your braces
  • Run the floss gently between your teeth, making sure to not pull on the wire with your floss
  • Repeat the process until you have flossed between all your teeth

To see a visual demonstration of this technique, watch this video.

The Best Types of Floss

Any floss that can remove food particles and prevent plaque and tartar buildup is great — but, there are a few dental hygiene tools that can make the process of flossing with braces a little easier. 

Waxed Floss with an Orthodontic Floss Threader

If flossing with string floss feels a little awkward or complicated, try using an orthodontic floss threader. These tools make the process of threading the floss through the gaps behind your archwire easier, so you can more effectively remove plaque and tartar. Orthodontic floss threaders can be found in the oral health section of most drugstores and grocery stores for less than $5.


Waterpiks are great options for those who want a quicker alternative to traditional flossing.Using mild water pressure, the Waterpik system allows users to gently remove plaque and tartar without having to thread traditional floss between every tooth. By simply holding the Waterpik against the teeth and gums, you can clean your teeth more effectively and more comfortably than with string floss. This device is also a good option for those with sensitive gums, as it removes plaque without causing extra irritation or bleeding.

How Often You Should Floss

If you have braces, you should be flossing at least twice per day. Ideally, you should floss after eating and before bed in order to prevent bacteria buildup as much as possible. If you find yourself forgetting to floss during these times, try setting a reminder on your phone or leaving a post-it note by your bathroom sink!

Let Parris Orthodontics Fix Your Smile

At Parris Orthodontics, we treat each patient the way we would want to be treated - with great care, kindness, and respect. Whether you are thinking of getting braces for your child or are wanting to correct your own smile, we can help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Contact us today and schedule your evaluation!


Posted by Dee Geis at 08:28
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