Flossing Techniques for Your Permanent Retainer
Oral Health Blog

Flossing Techniques for Your Permanent Retainer


Maintaining oral hygiene is essential, especially when you have a permanent retainer in place. Flossing with this type of retainer can be tricky, but it's crucial to prevent dental issues like plaque buildup and gum disease. In this article, we'll explore how to floss effectively with a permanent retainer, ensuring your smile remains healthy and beautiful.

1. Get the Right Tools

To successfully floss with a permanent retainer, you'll need the right tools. Invest in a floss threader, super floss, or a water flosser, which are designed to navigate the wires and reach those tight spaces between your teeth.

2. Threader Technique

If you're using a floss threader, here's how to do it:

  • Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long.
  • Thread one end of the floss through the loop of the threader.
  • Gently guide the threader under the wire of your permanent retainer.
  • Pull the floss through, so you have a good length to work with.
  • Hold both ends of the floss and carefully move it up and down between each tooth, reaching under the wire to remove any trapped debris.

3. Super Floss Solution

Super floss combines regular floss, a stiffened end, and a spongy component. Here's how to use it:

  • Take a piece of super floss (usually pre-cut to a suitable length).
  • Thread the stiffened end under the retainer wire.
  • Gently slide the spongy portion between your teeth, following the natural curve of your gums.
  • Repeat this process for each tooth, ensuring you clean all the nooks and crannies.

4. Water Flosser Wonder

A water flosser can be a game-changer for retainer owners. These devices use a stream of pressurized water to clean between teeth and around dental appliances. Simply aim the water jet at the gaps between your teeth and along the retainer wire to dislodge debris effectively.

5. Flossing Frequency

Flossing should be a daily habit, whether you have a permanent retainer or not. Make it a part of your morning or evening oral care routine to maintain optimal hygiene.

6. Regular Check-Ups

Even with meticulous flossing, it's essential to visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly. They can assess the condition of your permanent retainer, make any necessary adjustments, and ensure your oral health remains in top shape.

7. Troubleshooting Tips

  • If you encounter difficulties flossing around your retainer, don't hesitate to ask your orthodontist for guidance.
  • Be patient and gentle to avoid damaging your retainer or hurting your gums.
  • Consider investing in an interdental brush to supplement your flossing routine.


Flossing with a permanent retainer doesn't have to be a daunting task. By choosing the right tools and employing the correct techniques, you can maintain excellent oral hygiene and keep your smile healthy. Whether you opt for a floss threader, super floss, or a water flosser, make flossing a daily routine. Regular dental check-ups will also ensure that your retainer is working effectively and your teeth remain in optimal condition.


Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE


The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.