How To Keep Your Permanent Retainer Clean

The day has finally arrived – you get to have your braces taken off! Your orthodontist gives you the option of a removable or permanent retainer, and you choose the permanent one. It seems so easy, nothing to remember to put it and nothing to lose! However, you soon realize that your permanent retainer is more work than you originally thought.

During our routine cleanings, the biggest buildup of plaque we normally see is around permanent retainers. If you have a permanent retainer, you know how difficult it is to floss it. However, this is a necessary step to ensure plaque does not build up around it. Although it may take a little extra time and effort, flossing your teeth bonded by your permanent retainer is worth it.

Do you hate it when the dentist uses that sharp pointy object to scrape the yellow gunk off the back of your permanent retainer? Most patients do. The yellow stuff is plaque, and you can keep it off of your teeth by flossing.  We’re going to give you a few tips on how to prevent plaque buildup around your permanent retainer.

There are a few options when it comes to flossing your permanent retainer. The first tool is a floss threader, which is a plastic needle that can help get the floss under the wire. Then, you can floss your teeth normally. You have to do this between every tooth covered by the retainer, which can be time consuming, but necessary. Another way to floss is to use “superfloss”, which has a plastic end. This floss is precut and each piece has the stiff end that can be used to push the floss under the retainer. The last option to floss your permanent retainer is a pick, called Soft-Picks. These are plastic picks with a rubber end that can fit between your teeth.

In addition to flossing properly, you also need to make sure you come regularly for your dental cleaning because your dentist can get your teeth cleaner than you can at home. Overall, cleaning your permanent retainer isn’t a difficult task; it just requires a little bit of extra effort.

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