How to [Floss] Your Permanent Retainer

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Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss

How to Floss Your Permanent Retainer?

Anyone who understands what wearing braces for years has experienced the pain that it brings and the hardship it poses when it comes to cleaning the teeth. Apart from the pain, there are other embarrassing moments that come up when you wear braces. For instance, you might find yourself smiling to your friends, and your brackets and wires are full of food. If you have experienced some of these embarrassing moments, you know that the journey with the braces to the point of removing them cannot be for anything less than a perfect smile. This investment has to be taken care of after braces have been removed using retainers, for the teeth to maintain their correct position. Retainers start their work at this phase. The most common retainers being used are permanent retainers. There are other temporary retainers, but what is a permanent retainer and what is it used for?

What is a Permanent Retainer?

A permanent retainer is also called a lingual retainer. It is usually glued to the inner teeth. It is not easy to see it because it is well hidden. A permanent retainer usually lasts for about 5-7 years. During a dental cleaning, normal wear or due to tearing over time, the permanent retainers can be unglued.

A permanent retainer is a good solution for complete dental treatment with either Invisalign or braces because it helps to keep the teeth from making any slight movement. One huge disadvantage of a permanent retainer is that over time, it can accumulate plaque or calculus if you do not brush or floss well.

A permanent retainer is usually placed only in the lower front teeth because they are the teeth with the most likely to move and the crowd. A permanent retainer is at times placed on the upper teeth. But because the upper teeth are used to bite, the retainers can easily fall off. 

When wearing permanent retainers, you cannot take them when you are eating. You should not be concerned about losing them, and they are not visible because no one can actually see wires connected to the retainers.

How to Floss a Teeth with a Permanent Retainers

Although retainers can gather plaque, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them, because you don’t have to add extra attention when cleaning than you did when you were brushing your teeth with braces. Some permanent retainers are bonded with the teeth which make it harder to clean around them, but they are reliable in preventing any tooth from moving once the braces are removed. There are three ways you can use to floss these types of retainers:

Use floss rethreaders: this type of floss is designed with a loop to help in re-threading the floss and get between the retainer. Once you have the floss in position under the wire, you can maneuver it to remove plaque and food particles. It is important to use a different thread for each tooth that you floss.

Superfloss: this is a pre-cut floss that has a piece of plastic on one end that is designed to clean between permanent retainers. This method does not involve threading.

Small brushes and picks: you can use these tools that are designed to fit between the teeth, and they are made from rubber or plastic for them not to damage the tooth’s enamel.

Other types of permanent retainers are attached only to two teeth at the ends of the retainer; in most cases, these are usually canines. When you practice how to clean these types of retainers repeatedly, you will have an easier time flossing around the retainers. It is easier to clean this retainer since threading the floss around the retainer is an easy exercise. Flossing is an important process of cleaning your teeth, and with a permanent retainer, you should not have an excuse for not flossing your teeth. How to floss teeth with a permanent retainer is essential in ensuring long-term dental health.

7 Ways to Clean Your [Clear Plastic] Orthodontic Aligners

How to Maintain a Clean Teeth While Wearing Permanent Retainers

Many people are going for orthodontic treatment because orthodontists provide different solutions to braces that people can choose from. Orthodontists are helping many people to straighten their teeth using Damien lingual braces or Invisalign aligners.

Once permanent retainers are fixed, it is important to keep the teeth and the gums healthy. To achieve it, we are going to look at some tips to help you keep your dental hygiene high.

Floss daily: never give up on flossing, even if it is hard when you have retainers, use superfloss because it is designed to clean around braces and it can be easily purchased in chemists.

Brush teeth properly: when you brush your teeth, ensure to angle your toothbrush in a way to access all the spaces and hidden areas around your teeth and fixed retainers.

Go for your appointments: always create time to go for your appointments because your orthodontist will want to clean your teeth in areas where you might have missed, like at the back of the teeth, and in tight spaces around the retainers. If it is hard to clean these hidden areas at home, then you may want to plan for frequent appointments to prevent the formation of plaque, which can build up and increase the chances of gingivitis. An additional benefit of going to appointments is that your orthodontist can check for any other dental issues, making it easier to treat the issue before it progresses to something serious.

In a way a fixed retainer looks attractive, you should return the favor by ensuring that they are cleaned effectively.

After a long journey of wearing braces, you may have finally gotten that perfect smile you have always wanted. But the journey continues with cleaning your teeth consistently especially with your retainers on. Just like anything else, if you take good care of it, it will serve you for a long time without causing problems.


For more information regarding how to maintain clean teeth while wearing permanent retainers and how to take care of permanent retainers, contact us and we will help you with some tips after making an appointment with our orthodontists. 

How to Floss Your Permanent Retainer

McDermott Orthodontist
708 Elm Ave. E.
Delano, MN
TEL: 763-972-4444