November 2, 2017
If you have had braces, you’re probably relieved to hear that it’s just about the end of your orthodontic treatment. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel—except you have to wear a lingual retainer to finish off your straightening treatment.
One of the most difficult parts of having braces is cleaning beneath and around the brackets and wires. If you now have a lingual retainer, your dentist in Carrollton is here to explain how you can use an alternative flossing technique to make your dental hygiene routine easier.
Why is it important to floss?
When you’re at the end of your orthodontic treatment, you shouldn’t let up during your hygiene routine. It’s more important than ever to practice great oral hygiene to finish off your dental treatment on a good note. This goes for flossing—even if you have a permanent retainer!
Why is it so important to floss at the end of your treatment? The sole purpose of flossing is to remove the dental bacteria, debris, and food from between the tight crevices of your teeth—that goes for the tight spaces created by existing objects in your mouth, too (like your retainer bar).
When you neglect your teeth and gums by avoiding flossing daily, you leave those harmful materials to rot on your teeth and harden to tartar on your teeth and below the gum line. You’ll eventually develop tooth decay and one of the most debilitating dental diseases: gum disease.
An Alternative Technique to Flossing with Retainers
If you have a removable retainer, you can obviously take it out to properly clean your teeth by brushing and flossing. Things are a little different when you have a permanently placed retainer to keep your teeth from shifting after you’ve had braces.
Follow these simple steps to the lingual bar flossing trick more effective cleaning:
- Hold the floss as you normally would (towards the middle, far from the ends).
- Insert the thread between two teeth that have the bar behind it.
- Pull excess floss towards the back of your mouth, and insert the thread in the neighboring teeth. There should be a loop of floss behind the affected tooth.
- Pull both ends of floss through the front of the teeth, bringing the loop in tightly to the tooth.
- Slide the loop up and down, scooting past the retainer.
- Remove one end of the floss and continue to floss as normal once the thread is behind the retainer.
The steps may sound a bit confusing, but you can see a video demonstration here. If you have other questions regarding dental hygiene tips while you round up the last few months of your orthodontic treatment, feel free to call and ask your Carrollton dentist.
About Our Office
If you want the absolute best for your smile, you should look no further than DD Family Dentistry. Here at our office, we aim to provide unmatched dental care that exceeds patient expectations. We work hard to make sure our patients have access to the best information, technology, and services so that they reach a new level of better oral health. Feel free to call us and schedule your next appointment.
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