How to Floss Your Permanent Retainer

Post by: / December 8, 2014

Completing Orthodontic Treatment is an exciting time – especially when it comes to having braces removed.  There’s no better feeling than seeing your new smile for the first time after wearing brackets and wires for months – teeth are beautifully straight and top and bottom teeth fit together perfectly.  In order to keep your teeth in a healthy position your Calgary Orthodontist will advise wearing a retainer – this ensures teeth don’t move out of alignment.  Wearing an Orthodontic Retainer is a vital part of long-term treatment success, and for some patients the use of a permanent retainer – that is cemented to the inside of teeth – is required to preserve the newly created bite.

How to Floss Your Permanent Retainer - Cory Liss Orthodontics - Calgary Orthodontists

A Permanent Orthodontic Retainer makes life easier in some ways – you don’t have to remember to put it back in after a meal, so there’s absolutely no chance of losing it!  And it quietly does its job of holding teeth in place – without being revealed in a smile – no one knows you’re wearing a permanent retainer. The disadvantage of having a permanent retainer is that they tend to accumulate plaque and definitely require a little extra attention when it comes to flossing.

But keeping your Permanent Retainer clean isn’t that big of a challenge – after all, you’ve already mastered the delicate act of brushing and flossing around brackets and wires – so keeping a single wire clean – no problem.  A Permanent Retainer consists of a single wire being cemented to the inside of the lower front teeth – it is usually cemented in a couple of places for retention and does a great job of maintaining healthy tooth position.  Because a cemented retainer is not removable it tends to gather food remnants and be an area of the mouth where sticky plaque accumulates.  We’ve mentioned in previous blogs about the importance of flossing to remove food debris and plaque – as dental decay quickly forms where bacteria is allowed to gather and can ruin healthy teeth in no time.  So how can you keep your permanent retainer squeaky clean?

Make sure you keep up with brushing twice a day – and don’t be shy about brushing the inside of tooth surfaces, especially around the retaining wire.  Sometimes switching to a toothbrush with a compact head makes maneuvering around a wire a little easier.  Flossing daily is essential – and using floss threaders to get the floss under the retainer usually works well – and enables floss to move up and down in between teeth.

If you’re not sure how to floss around your permanent retainer – contact Cory Liss Orthodontics for some instruction – as helping keep mouths healthy and beautiful is this Calgary Orthodontist’s goal.