It used to be such a dread, seeing patients with fixed lingual retainers. I mean, they’re great because they keep your teeth from shifting after you’ve had braces, but GAWRSH, do they have to be so difficult to floss around?
Not any more.
Thanks to the talented hygienists over at Hygiene Edge we now can share this super-easy secret with patients as well!
Here’s how you do it:
It’s embarrassing to say this, but it took me over 20 years as a dental hygienist to find out about this trick, so now I’m thrilled to see lingual retainers on patients because it gives me a chance to share this newfound secret. That’s why I’m sharing it here, too. And as for you poor folks whose retainers are glued to each and every front tooth? I’m sorry, this trick doesn’t work. You’ll just have to stick it to ’em instead:
Remember, it’s all about friction. Whatever gets in there is good by me.
A blogger since 1997, Trish Walraven, RDH, BSDH is a mom and practicing dental hygienist in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Her mission with DentalBuzz is to offer a fresh podium of discourse for those involved in dentistry and to expose fun in our professional lives.
dentist in warwick ri says
Thanks for the tip! One thing I like to try is swishing the water through my teeth into the sink to dislodge some of the looser gunk lol
Ajit D says
I have been using braces, it is difficult to use floss in general rule. But following your trick it becomes quite easy. Thank you very much for sharing the excellent tricks.
Alex Yong says
Good edu piece on flossing under a retainer.
Steffany Mohan says
Absolutely once the floss is done under the wire,it can be moved up and down the sides of the adjacent teeth to remove plaque as normal.
Susan Millar says
Multifilament Floss is one of the best ways I recommend to go for due to its affordability and ease of use. The trick mentioned here is nice indeed!
Thank you for sharing the technique when flossing under a retainer. i’m going to undergo treatment for my retainer at alexandria va dentist their dental treatment and dental health assistance is well commendable. After doing the dental treatment, I’ll do this trick. Bookmarked this page.
Ashley Woods says
Good tip! Teeth have a tendency to move back to their original positions. So, retainers are really important. But then, so is flossing. Glad you shared this to make it easier to floss with retainers!
Christie Martinez says
If you don’t have any pre-made floss threaders on hand, you can make your own. This method will work well with permanent retainers bonded to the two end canine teeth since you will be able to more effectively move the floss around.
I’m sending this video to my orthodontist and my DH! Hope they pass it along! If someone WANTS to keep their teeth for a lifetime… they will use this tip! I also use the tint periodental brushes but this gets the contact surfaces AND THE FRONT AND BACK GUM LINES!
PCI Health Training Center says
This is great information. I usually take off the retainer to floss but this works too!
CiCi Elle says
I recently started a treatment plan with invisible aligners and plan to get a permanent retainer in once I complete my plan. I wasn’t sure how to floss with it in!
Den Joseph says
Don’t you think flossing can enlarge gaps between tooth? I’m confuse whether I do flossing or not.
Susan Middleton says
Great tip! Would also recommend avoiding food that sticks or is hard to chew as much as possible when you have braces. Makes the cleaning process much easier.
Jeremy Clarkson says
Our dentist at Smile Artist Dentistry suggested investing in a Waterpik for braces and retainers and boy does it help! It can reach any area in my teenagers mouths and you don’t have to navigate around metal, wires, brackets or bands!
Ali John Jazayeri says
Interesting and informative video. I agree that there is no substitute for manual pressure, but a waterpik is your second best option if you can’t clean it manually. Being persistent is key, if you don’t clean your retainer for a long time, the buildup gets hard and calcified and impossible to remove. Thanks for sharing your tips!
Vardhman Dental Care says
Very informative video and a must for patients. It’s very important to floss every part of your teeth.