How to floss with braces

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How to Floss With Braces

by Dr. Tyler Coles – Premier Orthodontics

Ask anyone what the hardest part about braces is, and they’ll usually give you the same answer: flossing.

One study shows that only 30% of Americans floss their teeth when they don’t have braces…

…so you can bet that it’s even less when someone has another obstacle, like braces on their teeth to get around.

 

Why is Flossing With Braces So Important?

According to the American Dental Association, “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.

In other words, flossing removes plaque and helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

If someone has braces, the risk for plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease increases dramatically. If you invested in braces to make your teeth straight then shouldn’t you want them to remain clean and healthy in the process?   

That’s why we want to show you the easiest, most effective ways to floss your teeth with braces. 

 

How to Floss With Braces Using a Floss Threader

Before you pick up some regular floss, you need to know that it doesn’t work quite the same way if you have braces… 

An extra tool is required in order to get the floss beneath the archwire. This tool is called a floss threader.

Floss your braces with a floss threader

The best way to picture a floss threader is to first imagine a needle and thread.  The floss threader will act as the needle, and your floss will be the thread. 

First, pass a piece of floss through the floss threader…

Floss threader step 1

…and then using the floss threader, “thread” the floss beneath the wire. 

Floss threader step 2
Floss threader step 3

Once you have the floss beneath the wire, you can floss as you normally would.

Floss threader step 4
After you have flossed one tooth you will need to repeat this process for each tooth.  

The Pros of Using a Floss Threader to Floss With Braces:

  1. Very Inexpensive – Your orthodontist will likely give you a pack for free (or you can pick some up for a few dollars on Amazon or at a drug store)
  2. Reusable – One pack will likely last you months or years
  3. A Process You’re Already Used To – No special tools are needed, just the threader and floss.

The Cons of using a Floss Threader to Floss With Braces

  1. Tricky To Use At First This is especially true for younger kids. Using the floss threader requires some hand skills that may prove difficult for young children.
  2. Takes Longer Than Normal Flossing . Because you have to repeat the process of flossing beneath the wire for every tooth in your mouth, this can be a time consuming process.
Check out our video about brushing and flossing with braces! It demonstrates exactly how floss threaders are used.
Overall, using a floss threader to floss with braces works well and many patients choose this option for its cost-effectiveness. But if you’d like to find a faster or easier option, keep reading below…

How to Floss With Braces Using Superfloss

Superfloss is essentially a piece of floss with one stiff end.
Superfloss to floss braces
Superfloss works similarly to a floss threader, only you don’t need to do the “needle and thread” process. You simply take the stiff end of floss, guide it beneath your archwire, and floss your teeth.  

The Pros of Using a Superfloss to Floss With Braces:

  1. Easier Than a Floss Threader – Most kids and adults figure this method out pretty easily.
  2. Easy To Find – It can be purchased on Amazon or at your local drug store

The Cons of using a Superfloss to Floss With Braces

  1. Also Time Consuming Because you have to repeat the process of guiding the floss beneath the wire, it does take a little bit of time. 
  2. Not Reusable –  Super floss is a one-time use product, so each day you will use a new piece and throw it away. This product isn’t too expensive, but while you are in braces you will likely need several boxes to get you by. 
Superfloss is a great tool that cleans well. Grab a pack next time you’re at the drug store and try it out for yourself!

How to Floss With Braces Using a Platypus Orthodontic Flosser

Platypus Orthodontic Flossers are one of the quickest, and EASIEST ways to floss with braces. 
Platypus Ortho Flosser

There is no threading required with the platypus orthodontic flossers. The narrow side of the flosser is designed to fit behind the arch wire, allowing you to floss your entire mouth in no more than two minutes (usually less)!

The easiest way to understand how the Platypus Orthodontic Flosser works is to see it in action.  Click below to watch a video about how to floss with braces using the Platypus Orthodontic Flosser.

The Pros of Using a Platypus Orthodontic Flosser to Floss With Braces:

  1. Fastest Method – You can floss your entire mouth in two minutes or less.
  2. No Threading Required  This makes it easier for young kids who may struggle with the floss threaders on their own.

The Cons of Using a Platypus Orthodontic Flosser to Floss With Braces

  1. Cost More Than Floss Threaders –  The Platypus Orthodontic flossers are a one-time use product, so each day you will use a new flosser and throw it away. This product is still reasonably priced, however,  and you can buy them in larger packages to save money. 
  2. Difficult To Find In-Store  This is most likely a solution you will need to order online.   You can find them on Amazon with free shipping and in multiple package sizes. 

How to Floss With Braces Using a Harp Orthodontic Flosser

The Harp Orthodontic Flosser is very similar to the platypus flosser – it too allows you to floss without threading. You simply guide the small end of the flosser beneath the archwire to floss your entire mouth; no threading required!  
Harp Flosser

Watch the video below to learn more about the harp flosser and to see it in action.

The Pros of Using a Harp Orthodontic Flosser to Floss With Braces:

  1. Quick And Easy –  You can floss your entire mouth in two minutes or less.
  2. No Threading Required – This makes it easier for young kids who may struggle with the floss threaders on their own.
  3. Reusable For Up To A Week – , This means less total flossers you will have to buy throughout the time you have braces.

The Cons of Using a Harp Orthodontic Flosser to Floss With Braces

  1. Cost More Than Floss Threaders – Harp Flossers cost more than floss threaders, but they are still very reasonable.  To get a month’s supply of Harp flossers it comes out to about $5!
  2. Difficult To Find – They can’t be found at local drug stores or on Amazon, but you can order them direct on the Harp company website. 

How to Floss With Braces Using a Waterpik or Water Flosser

A Waterpik is a popular brand of water flosser.  A water flosser is a device that delivers a stream of pressurized pulsating water between your teeth, along the gum line, and around your braces.  If you find that string floss, no matter the type,  is too difficult to do on a daily basis, then a water flosser might be a good choice for you!

In addition to cleaning between your teeth like floss, a water flosser can also help remove food debris along the gum and around the braces. Watch the video below to see how a water flosser can help you floss with braces and keep your braces clean.

The Pros of Using a Waterpik or Water Flosser to Floss With Braces:

  1. No String Required –  If you or your child struggles with string floss, a water flosser is likely the best answer. It’s quick, easy and lets you floss your entire mouth in two minutes or less.
  2. Helps Around The Braces And Gum Line  – String floss just can’t get to these areas.
  3. Easy To Find – You can pick Waterpiks or water flossers up at your local drug store or online.
  4. One-Time Investment – One unit will last the entire time you’re in braces—plus a long time after that! This is also the most eco-friendly choice, as it allow you to entirely eliminate trash waste from your flossing routine.
  1.  
 

The Cons of Using a Waterpik or Water Flosser to Floss With Braces

  1. Most Expensive Portable units start around $30, and counter top units may cost up to $70. But remember, you never have to replace it while you’re wearing braces.
  2. Not Portable –  A water flosser does require you to be near a sink in order to use it.

No matter which type of floss you choose . . . there’s no doubt that flossing with braces is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth, healthy gums, and avoiding bad breath with braces

With the tools listed above, you’ll find it easier and less time consuming than ever to floss with braces.

Braces in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, Anthem, and Casa Grande

Premier Orthodontics has 7 locations  providing braces and Invisalign in Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Glendale, and Anthem/Carefree as well as the surrounding areas. 

Schedule your free consultation for braces or read our comprehensive guide to the cost of braces . (We are very transparent about our process and our pricing, as you’ll see in this guide.)

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Whether you’re thinking about braces for kidsbraces for an adult, or even Invisalign, we’ve got you covered!

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