Nothing is more important than keeping your teeth healthy, especially when you're wearing braces. Be sure to floss!

How to Floss with Braces to Prevent Tooth Decay

When you get braces, there are some tasks you may need to re-learn. For instance, it may take you a couple days to get used to speaking or eating with braces. It may also take you a little time to get used to taking care of your teeth with braces.

If you’ve been educated on proper oral hygiene, flossing plays a big role in preventing tooth decay. Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you can’t floss anymore. Here’s how to floss with braces to prevent tooth decay.

Flossing Products

These days, there are many more products available to make flossing quick and easy. Although traditional flossing is still the preferred product for many, other products are gaining popularity with braces patients. These include:

  • Waterpik
  • Disposable flossers
  • Flavored floss

Some of these products, especially the Waterpik, make flossing a much easier and enjoyable experience for those with braces. It’s important to find the style of floss that works for you (you may need to try a couple different products to find the right one), so you can be successful in keeping your teeth as clean as possible.

Flossing Techniques

Two popular methods of flossing for patients with braces are traditional floss and the Waterpik. Let’s discuss the flossing methods for both. With traditional floss, the method stays the same as without braces, yet it gets tweaked slightly. Cut an 18 to 24-inch piece of floss and place the floss between the wire and the tooth, then thread it onto your fingers. Press the floss between the tooth, making sure to get the sides and into the gumline, then remove the floss, re-threading it for each tooth.

If using a Waterpik, fill the basin with water, then place the tip of the Waterpik in your mouth. It’s a good idea to lean over the sink while flossing, as water will need to drain from your mouth. Turn the flosser on, close your mouth and let the water drain into the sink. Be sure to go in between each tooth and along the gumline for best results. Waterpiks may not be as effective as actual flossing, so check with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth are getting cleaned properly.

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing plays a vital role when it comes to oral hygiene, so it’s important not to skip it, especially when you have braces. As we eat, bacteria has the chance to build up in between our teeth, and when you have braces, there are more spots for bacteria to hide and multiply. If not properly removed, this bacteria forms plaque, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why being sure to include flossing in your daily routine is crucial to your oral health.

When it comes to flossing, although everyone may have their preferred way of performing this task, you need to find the way that works for you. When you find a way that you feel comfortable with, you’re more likely to keep up with it. It only takes a few minutes out of your day, but flossing can reduce your risk of serious problems developing. So, take the time, find the right product for you and be sure to floss everyday to prevent tooth decay.

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.