Braces are a necessity for revealing a newly straightened, more confident smile. However, following a complete oral hygiene routine is even more crucial for those with braces. Wires and brackets can trap food particles and leave gums and teeth more exposed to oral health issues including plaque accumulation and tartar. To help keep these issues at bay, be sure to floss your teeth at least once a day. Here are our top recommendations for dental floss for braces and how to properly floss with braces.
Best Floss Options for Braces
When it comes to getting an interdental clean, especially if wearing braces, the type of floss you use matters. Braces can pose several obstacles to ensuring you get an optimal clean—wires and brackets specifically create hard-to-reach areas during the cleaning process. Fortunately, there are dental floss threaders and unique flossing options available to you to ensure you get a more effective clean.
Floss Threaders: Threaders feature a flexible piece of plastic designed to help maneuver dental floss around and between any dental work such as braces and bridges.
Super Floss: Ideal for braces, bridges, and wide spaces, Oral-B Super Floss is made up of three unique components— a stiffened-end dental floss threader, spongy floss, and regular floss— which all work together to deliver an effective clean. With Super Floss, you get pre-measured strands that are great for cleaning under, around, and between dental appliances.
Water Flossers: A water flosser can help deliver a deeper clean, especially when wearing braces as it washes away leftover food particles, debris, and plaque. Pair the Oral-B AquaCare cordless irrigator with traditional string floss or a dental floss threader for braces to effectively clean braces, implants, bridges, and crowns.
No matter which flossing option you choose, be sure to follow a thorough oral hygiene routine of brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day to help maintain a healthy smile.
How to Floss with Braces
Flossing helps deliver a more effective tooth-by-tooth clean, but your flossing technique may need to be adjusted if you wear braces. Here’s how to floss with specialized dental floss options designed for braces and other dental appliances.
Flossing with Threader Floss
Holding the floss threader in one hand, insert the plastic needle directly under the wire of your braces.
Gently pull the floss through the wire and press the floss between the two teeth while wrapping the floss around your index fingers.
Slide the floss vertically along the sides of teeth.
Make an upside-down U-shape when flossing top teeth and go all the way up to the gum line as you clean the side of your tooth.
Pull the floss out from between teeth and the wire, be gentle in doing so to avoid popping the wire out of the bracket.
Continue the process to cover all pairs of teeth.
Flossing with Oral-B Super Floss
Using the pre-measured strand, slide the floss under the wire between two teeth.
Gently slide the floss along the side of the tooth, going all the way to the gum line.
Continue to slide the floss across the sides to effectively remove any trapped debris and plaque.
Pull the floss out gently to avoid any damage to the wire and brackets.
Continue the process across all teeth.
Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water.
Set the intensity mode to personalize your clean – intense, medium, or sensitive.
Using the nozzle, select your stream for an interdental clean that’s just right for you.
Place the nozzle in your mouth.
Use the on-demand mode for a more precise and mess-free clean while protecting dental work.
Starting with your back molars, follow your gum line to clean tooth-by-tooth, holding the water stream over each tooth for approximately two seconds.
For an optimized clean with braces, consider switching to an electric toothbrush like the award-winning Oral-B iO to remove more plaque than a manual.