Taking proper care of your teeth isn’t always the most enjoyable part of your day – this can be especially true when it comes to flossing with a permanent retainer. However, once your braces come off, you can’t just give up on your diligent oral health care regime. Otherwise, you may be sacrificing the quality of your smile and, more importantly, the health of your mouth.
You May Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Your Permanent Retainer
Let’s be honest, when you set the date to have your braces removed, you are probably looking forward to a mouth free from braces, brackets and all. But, you and your orthodontist may come to the decision you’ll benefit from a permanent retainer that prevents your newly straightened teeth from shifting. A permanent retainer is the best way to keep your pearly whites in place, but as much as you’ll appreciate this support, you may encounter some hassles with this permanent solution.
Flossing Needs to Remain a Top Priority for Your Bottom Teeth
Flossing is one of the most notable challenges presented by a permanent retainer. So, here are our best tips for how you can keep flossing to prevent cavities and keep your teeth in good health:
- You’ll need a floss threader, which looks like a small sewing needle that you can thread your floss through
- Using your threader, form a loop with your floss – about six inches from the end of the “rope”
- Start with the loop above the retainer, and then pull down until you feel the floss “snap” under the retainer behind your teeth
- Letting go of the short end of the floss, pull the long end all the way through until it is out of the space between the teeth.
- Grab the now-loose short end of the floss and pull it towards the back of your mouth and then wrap it around your fingers (like you would when flossing normally)
- The floss should be positioned under the retainer and around your fingers, so it will be easy to floss up and down against the sides of the teeth where the floss is currently located
- Move onto the next two teeth by lifting the front half of the floss up and out of the just-flossed area and then slide it over to the space between your next two teeth
- Repeat for all your teeth
At first, this routine may seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it to avoid stains and cavities from forming. Just keep in mind all you went through to earn your brilliant new smile, and that should be motivation enough to put an extra couple of minutes into your oral health care regime.
At Foley Wilde Orthodontics we’re happy to help you overcome any challenges you may encounter with your braces. We want you to have a great experience – from before they go on until you have your final orthodontic check-up. Contact our experienced team today for more information on how to get, and keep a great smile.