How to Remove Plaque from a Permanent Retainer

Jen asked: How do I get rid of plaque from a bottom retainer, other than flossing it? I have been flossing my bottom, permanent retainer for awhile now, and I still see plaque forming on my teeth by it. What is the best way to get rid of the plaque?

When permanent retainers are placed, they are bonded closely to the teeth to prevent them from moving. This tight space becomes an ideal location for plaque to build up. Regular brushing, flossing and dental hygiene will help to slow the process. Regular dental visits will remove any remaining plaque before it can build up and cause decay. Other items to consider include:

  • Select a quality toothpaste.
  • Brush the retainer area carefully to remove as much build up as possible. Electric toothbrushes are often more effective in reaching these areas than manual toothbrushes. The fast movement of the bristles will allow you to clean all along the retainer with minimal effort.
  • Consider using a mouthwash in addition to your normal brushing and flossing. This can also cut down on the build up and help keep plaque away.
  • Do not neglect your six month check-ups and cleanings. While all of these steps will help, these cleanings are essential to remove the remaining plaque that brushing can’t.

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