Most patients floss their teeth without much effort. However, if you have a permanent retainer, then this process can be a bit more complicated. Some patients find that these devices get in their way, making it more difficult to clean their teeth. Luckily though, there are some simple techniques that can make the job easy. Below, we’ll teach you how to floss with a permanent retainer.
Understanding the Challenges
Permanent retainers are usually placed on the inside of your teeth, next to the tongue. This area is called the lingual surface for the bottom teeth and the palatal surface for the upper teeth. Both surfaces are ideal for permanent retainers because they offer a large amount of tooth surface that is also hidden from view. However, the placement can make flossing difficult. Because this area is hard to see, be sure to check in with your orthodontist regularly. They can make sure you are flossing effectively.
Choosing the Right Tools
While flossing with a permanent retainer is challenging, there are plenty of tools that can make the job easier. The most popular option is floss threaders. This is a small plastic tool that allows you to use traditional floss like you would a needle and thread. Other types of floss (such as “super floss” are specifically designed to clean under orthodontic devices, so you might want to try these as well. Finally, water flossers can help patients clean in hard-to-reach areas.
How to Floss With a Permanent Retainer
Still wondering how to floss with a permanent retainer? Start by threading the floss in between your permanent retainer and the tooth surface. Next, grip the floss as you normally would and gently clean along your wire. Finally, clean in between the teeth. Repeat the process until your entire mouth is clean! Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get this right immediately. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you get the hang of it.
Still Have Questions?
Permanent retainers can take some getting used to. Dr. Bar and the rest of the Adventure Orthodontics team can help you make sense of your new oral device. Click the link above to request your appointment today!