Tips for Cleaning Your Teeth When You Have a Permanent Orthodontic Retainer

Permanent orthodontic retainers are made of thin wire sealed against the back of the teeth to keep them in place. The retainers are invisible and their presence is only felt when you press your tongue on your teeth. The feeling might be strange at first, but it will become a normal part of your teeth soon enough.

Some dentists and orthodontists have their reservations regarding the use of permanent retainers. The retainer can make flossing and brushing your front teeth harder than usual. While the act itself is not impossible, it can discourage some patients from caring for their teeth altogether, which could cause decay.

Many dentists would rather leave your teeth slightly crooked than leave you vulnerable to cavities. Nevertheless, if the dental expert thinks you will be able to care for your teeth, they might suggest a permanent retainer regardless. Also, crooked teeth can also make flossing difficult, so the best option would be to learn how to care for your teeth properly.

The truth is, if you have a retainer, you need to give extra effort to cleaning the teeth to prevent tooth decay. The dentist will provide additional instructions, but the tips highlighted below will guide you on the right way to clean your teeth if you have a permanent orthodontic retainer.

Cleaning with a retainer

Brush twice daily

Take time to brush your teeth gently every morning and before going to bed at night. You should spend at least three minutes on the process, making sure to clean around the permanent retainer to eliminate food remnants that may be trapped between the brackets.

Get floss threaders

The wire of the permanent retainer will stop the piece of floss from getting in between the teeth. To remove the debris stuck between the teeth, you will need to thread the floss between each of them.

The process itself is not complicated. All you have to do is weave the floss under the wire and right through the gap between the teeth. The dentist can guide you accordingly during your appointment. A packet of floss is cheap and could save you from many dental issues.

Visit the dentist regularly

Ensure you keep up with your biannual dental appointments so that the dentist can clean plaque and tartar deposits away from the teeth, especially at points that are inaccessible to a toothbrush. Additionally, tartar cannot be cleaned by regular brushing; it requires professional tools. Since the permanent retainer makes cleaning the teeth harder than usual, you should always visit the dentist if you want to maintain your oral health.

In summary

By getting a permanent orthodontic retainer, you are assured of long-lasting orthodontic results and many years of appealing, aligned dentition. Ensure you follow the dental care tips above to keep your teeth clean and free from decay or cavities. Most dentists will only have you wear the retainers for 10 to 15 years, when they are sure your teeth will not shift out of place anymore. If you have additional questions about taking proper care of your teeth, do not hesitate to consult your dentist or orthodontist for help.

Request an appointment here: https://www.bruceortho.com or call Bruce Orthodontics at (715) 365-1777 for an appointment in our Rhinelander office.

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