How to Clean Around Permanent Metal Retainers

Retainer Whittier, CA

Wearing a retainer may seem like an annoyance, but this dental appliance is a critical piece of equipment. Once your orthodontist removes your braces, your teeth may be straight and your jaw problems may be gone. Things will not stay the same if you choose not to wear the proper apparatus. In some cases, the orthodontist may choose to install a permanent one in your mouth. This can make it difficult to clean your teeth, but there are some simple ways to do this.

Importance of wearing this appliance

A permanent retainer is designed to stay in the patient’s mouth for life. Some people may ask a dentist to remove it, but orthodontists discourage this. This mouth appliance will help keep teeth from moving back to their previous positions. Braces treatment is a major financial commitment. Patients who keep the apparatus in their mouth can make the orthodontic care worth the effort. No one wants to achieve a nice smile with straight teeth only to see the teeth become crooked again.

Challenges with cleaning teeth

Most dentists will place permanent mouth appliances on the back of the teeth. This can create some problems with brushing and flossing. It is easy to get frustrated and consider the appliance to be in the way. However, patients who do not try to clean around it can have serious problems with teeth and gums. Thorough cleaning will take some more diligence, time and focus.

Spend more time

Good oral care requires that people spend adequate time brushing their teeth. A few seconds here and there will not be sufficient to fend off bacteria and tooth decay. This is especially true with the portion of teeth behind the mouth appliance. People should use a soft-bristle brush and effective toothpaste. It is helpful to focus on the area of the appliance and brush a little longer than usual.

Use floss hooks for the retainer

Many people neglect to floss as part of the regular oral hygiene routine. Patients who forget this step can develop gum disease or infections. Mouth appliances make flossing much more challenging, but with floss hooks, this task is simple. These products help thread the floss through and around the wires to get between the teeth. Do this at least once a day.

Visit the dentist regularly

Consistent dental appointments will help keep teeth healthy and strong. Even those teeth covered with a permanent mouth apparatus can get the needed attention when patients go to the dentist at least twice a year. The dentist will clean the teeth thoroughly and will concentrate on the area around the appliance. Patients can even ask for more attention in that area.

A little bit will go a long way

A permanent mouth appliance can be a valuable asset to keeping your teeth straight. It does not have to be a hindrance. Make sure you brush and floss the teeth around it each day. This will not only promote oral health, but it can help your appliance last longer as well.

Request an appointment here: or call Citrus Grove Orthodontics at (562) 222-4829 for an appointment in our Whittier office.

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