How to Keep Your Teeth Clean When Wearing A Retainer

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There’s no doubt that more people are embracing orthodontic treatment with braces because of the fact that there are so many different brace systems to choose from. As a Southampton dentist we’re treating more adults than ever before, thanks to discreet methods of straightening teeth that systems such as Invisalign aligners, and Damien lingual braces offer.

cosmetic dentist in SouthamptonOnce a patient’s treatment has finished we may recommend a teeth whitening treatment, which as a cosmetic dentist in Southampton we can do on site. This removes any stains that can accumulate whilst braces are being worn and gives your new straight smile a lovely bright gleam. In addition we often fit a fixed retainer to the back of a patient’s teeth to keep their teeth properly aligned and straight. This consists of a thin wire which is bonded to the back of the teeth.

Fixed retainers are a good idea because most importantly there’s no chance of the person losing it or taking it out and then not bothering to wear it again. However, it does make it more difficult for a person to keep their teeth and gums healthy and clean. One of the issues is that plaque can build up and accumulate around the fixed retainer and this can lead to gum disease. So here are a few tips to help you overcome this challenge:

  • Keep flossing – Don’ be tempted to give up on flossing, even if it is more difficult with a retainer in place. Try using Superfloss floss which is specially designed for use with braces and readily available from most chemists. It has a stiffened end to get beneath appliances and the spongy floss cleans around the device and in between spaces.
  • Brush your teeth properly – It’s important that you angle your toothbrush to access all of the nooks and crannies around your fitted retainer and your teeth.
  • Keep scheduled appointments – Don’t cancel your scheduled appointments since your visit enables us to clean those areas which you might have missed, such as at the back of your teeth and around your fixed appliance. If you’re struggling at home to clean these areas effectively then you might want to make more frequent appointments with the hygienist to prevent plaque from building up and to lower the risk of gingivitis. In addition, if we spot any dental problems during your visit it’s far easier for us to treat at its early stages before it has a chance to progress into something more complex.

Just as your fixed retainer will keep your smile looking attractive and even, so good oral habits will help you to maintain good dental health. If you’re having trouble with your fixed retainer, then try the above tips or make an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling for some further advice and a check-up. You can call Smilemakers direct on 02380 442626 or book online at

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