How to Floss Under Permanent Fixed Retainers


After finishing your Orthodontic Treatment it is important to use Retainers to prevent the Teeth from moving back to their original position. It is also important to keep the retainers clean, so let us look at How to Floss under Permanent Fixed Retainers.  So once you are done with Orthodontic treatment you are given Retainers which are either Removable or Fixed (Types of Orthodontic Retainers). Getting Fixed retainer has its advantage as compared to Removable ones as it is on full time and prevents Relapse, while Removable retainers if forgot to be worn by patients can lead to Relapse.

A Fixed or permanent retainer is a wire connecting the lingual surfaces of the Anterior teeth cemented together using Composite material. So cleaning under the Fixed retainer becomes a challenge as your toothbrush cannot reach under the wire. So your Dentist or Dental Hygienist will be telling you to use Floss Threaders or Dental Floss, Interdental Brushes, etc to clean under your Fixed Retainer wires. Let us look at the best tools to maintain Permanent Retainers and how you can clean them effectively.

Dental Floss or Floss Threaders-

These are the most effective and most commonly used tools to clean under your Permanent Retainers, but it is a little tricky initially but once you are used to it there is no looking back.

How to Floss under Permanent Retainers after Orthodontic treatment

You can purchase the Dental Floss from your Grocery store or medical store or your Dentist might provide you with some after your appointment. There are made of either Nylon or Teflon material making them thin yet sturdy preventing them from breaking or tearing when used in tight spaces. Dental Floss Picks are also one option but they are not recommended for Retainers.

  1. Take a decent amount of Dental Floss which you can handle with your two hands and cut it out of the roll.
  2. Now you can either push it from under the Retainer in between the teeth from front to back or move the floss thread from back to front under the retainer, which ever you feel is comfortable and easy.
  3. Just make sure that you do not hurt or damage your Gums in the process, it is no doubt a little difficult and needs a little practice and getting used to.
  4. Now move the Floss threads from inside to outside a couple of times and up and down (sliding it between the tooth and gums) without hurting your gums.
  5. Repeat it with all the teeth having the Retainer and give a good Rinse

Water Flosser or WaterPik –

If you are not able to use the Dental Floss or finding it difficult to use, there is another option in the form of Water Flosser or water pik which uses a thin fast stream of water aimed at the tooth, retainer or gum surfaces to clean any debris stuck to your tooth or under the retainer.

Interdental Brush or Super Floss –

This is another method of cleaning using a tufted strand of thread to clean under the retainers, bridges or in between teeth. The Interdental Flosser is the tufted part of the end of a stick while the Super Floss is part of the thread is Tufted which can be passed under the gums, bridges or Retainers.




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