Some dentists and orthodontists are reluctant to advise a permanent retainer than others because it is hard to clean. Flossing a permanent retainer is still very doable, however, a majority of people often neglect them that can further leads to the development of tooth decay and bad breath.
Permanent retainer is the most viable option in some cases to straighten the teeth and restore alignment. If you are a person with a permanent retainer, you will need to spend some extra time cleaning your teeth and appliances to prevent tooth decay. Your orthodontic specialist can give you precise instructions, taking the following general steps may help you clean your retainers and take care of them for a long period of time.
Brush Teeth and Retainer Twice a Day
A retainer usually lasts for at least 2 years after the removal of the braces. It is therefore very important that you know how to brush your teeth properly. Brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal and take particular care to adhere to this rule. You should spend some extra time to gently brush your permanent retainer. Be sure to remove any food stuck between the brackets. Be thorough, but be careful not to damage the wires.
Avoid Damaging Foods
If you have traditional orthodontic appliances, you understand how necessary it is to avoid foods that could damage them. The same rule can be applied for your permanent retainer. Avoiding such damaging foods can not only ease your cleaning routine but also ensures the longevity of your retainers. The most harmful food may include pop corns, nuts, ice cream, and sticky snacks.
Use Floss Threaders
The wire of your permanent retainer prevents a piece of floss to reach in between your teeth. To effectively clean the debris and food particles, you have to thread the floss in between each tooth. This method is super easy to apply; you just have to thread the floss through the spaces between your teeth and beneath the wire. Your orthodontic can show you the exact way to do this. A packet of floss threader may cost you one dollar and usually last for a month. You can also ask for threaders during your regular checkup.
Visit Your Dentist Frequently
Your dentist may recommend you to see him every six months. If not, you should consider making a visit to your doctor every five or six months to have a proper dental checkup. During this visit, he or she will check your dental hygiene and remove the plaque and other build up on your teeth, especially from the areas that are not easily accessible. Since the permanent retainers make it hard for you to remove the plaque or calculus on your own, you have to consult your dentist for assistance. If neglected, the buildup of harmful substances may increase and can lead to tooth decay.