How Do I Floss with Braces?

Orthodontist serving Stapleton, Denver, Cherry Creek & Nearby Areas of Colorado

For many of our patients in Denver, braces offer myriad health and aesthetic benefits as well as a few hygienic challenges. Life with braces necessitates particular care when brushing and flossing.  

One of the common questions about orthodontics we hear is, “How do I adequately floss with wires in my way?”

The simple answer is that you need to get under the wire to properly floss.

One way to get floss under the wire is with a floss threader, a rigid plastic device with a loop in which to thread your floss. You then position the floss threader to pull the floss beneath the wire, so you can properly floss. Floss threaders can usually be found in the dental section of your local drug store. 

Here are the specific steps to floss your teeth with braces:

  1. Take hold of about 12” of waxed floss.
  2. Use a floss threader to position the floss beneath the wire of your braces.
  3. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and use your thumb and index finger to slide the floss up and down.  Moving the floss from side to side is not recommended as it could cut or hurt your gums.
  4. Move the floss through the contact point between the teeth. If your floss breaks during this movement, get another piece of floss and try again, this will usually dislodge the broken floss fragment.
  5. Floss up and down on each side of every tooth and below the gum tissue papilla. You should notice plaque emerging from between the gum papilla and the tooth.

It takes more time to floss for people with braces, so give yourself plenty time to focus on doing a good job. Flossing is very important in reducing the chances of gum disease. 

To learn more about caring for your braces, please contact Advanced Orthodontic Care today by calling 303-331-0222 or by completing the form on this page to schedule an appointment. Dr. Rudman serves patients in and around the Denver area.