How to floss with braces

Flossing helps to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth and along the gumline.


If you have braces, you will know how important it is that you take extra-good care of your oral health throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment. Regular brushing and flossing are essential habits to keep your teeth clean and prevent issues like stains and tooth decay. Flossing helps to get rid of plaque and food particles between the teeth and form part of your daily routine. Although it can take some time to get it right, it’s well worth flossing every day for the sake of your teeth and gums.

Can you use traditional floss?

It’s perfectly fine to use traditional dental floss while you have braces, but it is important to know that this flossing technique can take some time when undergoing orthodontic treatment. You will need to thread the floss around the brackets and wires and make sure that you floss between each tooth.

If you choose to use traditional dental floss, try and set aside at least 10 minutes for flossing each day. Waxed floss is preferable as it is less likely to get stuck in the brackets when compared with unwaxed floss.

To get your technique right, you should place your floss between your teeth and the main wire. Press the floss between two teeth and gently slide it up and down along the sides of the teeth to the gumline. When you are done, remove the floss and unthread it from the wire whilst being careful that you don’t knock the wire from the bracket. Repeat the process for the next pair of teeth until you have flossed between all of your teeth.

Are there alternatives?

If you would like to floss more efficiently with traditional floss, you might find a floss threader helpful. A floss threader makes it a bit easier to pull the floss behind the wires of your braces. In order to use a floss threader, pull a piece of floss through the eye of the threader and place the point of the needle under the wire of your braces. Next, pull the floss through the wire and press it between two teeth. Rethread the floss threader after each set of teeth, and repeat.

If you find that flossing with traditional floss is too difficult with braces, you might consider an oral irrigator instead. An oral irrigator involves the use of a stream of water that cleans between the teeth and along the gumline.

To use an oral irrigator, you simply fill it with water before placing it in your mouth. When you turn it on, a steady stream of water will come out — you can move it along your gum line and between each tooth until you have covered all areas of your mouth. Be sure to clean along the front and back of every tooth.

How can we help?

At South East Orthodontics, we offer a range of orthodontic treatments, including braces. Our team is available to provide assistance and advice when it comes to maintaining your oral health for the duration of your treatment. If you need some help mastering your brushing and flossing techniques, please don’t hesitate to let us know so that we can provide you with all the information that you need.

Besides braces, we also offer a number of other treatments, including lingual braces, clear aligners, retainers, surgical treatments and early intervention for children. If you have an orthodontic concern or would simply like to discuss your options with us, we encourage you to come in and see us.

To arrange a consultation to see us, please give us a call on 03 9330 0702 or get in touch with us here. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful and straight smile, as well as optimal oral health.

New COVID-19 Restrictions
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We thank you for your understanding during these difficult times.