Close up of a woman flossing her braces

3 Tricks To Make Flossing With Braces Easier

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Flossing regularly is critical to good oral hygiene. Not only does it help remove harmful gum-irritating bacteria, but it also aids in the prevention of cavities between teeth. But while flossing is an important part of a healthy oral care routine, encouraging kids to floss can be a challenge for most parents. This becomes even more challenging when children have braces. The wires in braces can restrict you from flossing traditionally, and it isn't easy to do on your own. Orthodontic care is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile, but it takes commitment from parents and guardians to make sure teeth stay healthy while they're being straightened.

Here are three tricks to make it easier for a child wearing braces to floss regularly:

Use the Right Tool

Using floss on teeth with braces can be difficult and frustrating. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle and can challenge even the most skilled at flossing. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in most stores that sell toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is essential when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gumline.

Help Younger Children Floss

Don't expect younger children with braces to have the dexterity required to floss successfully. You will most likely need to help your child floss until they build up the ability to effectively floss on their own. It's best to have them kneel or sit in a well-lit area since flossing your child's teeth can take a bit of time. If they have difficulty sitting still, have them sit where they can watch their favorite show or listen to music while you floss.

Use Waxed Floss

Unwaxed floss is more likely to catch on braces and leave behind shreds of floss. When flossing with braces, it is best to use waxed floss with a floss threader, which will slip between each tooth without catching more easily. Gently slide the floss up into the gumline of both teeth before removing the floss and threader - moving to the next tooth.

Flossing with braces will take your child about twice as long as flossing teeth without braces, but it must be done regularly to prevent plaque buildup and increased risk of gum disease. While dental care is important for all kids, children with braces should be especially encouraged to take care of their teeth. Guardians and parents should play an active role in ensuring proper dental care by helping their children maintain a healthy mouth.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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