Permanent retainer and flossing : Dentistry

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Hello all! Asking an ortho question, but hopefully I can still get some insight:

I have a permanent retainer on the back of my teeth, and it has notoriously caused issues for me flossing. I wanted to know what suggestions people have for how to help with flossing. I think it may be that I need to see an orthodontist to take it off, because it is holding my teeth too close together that I can’t get a good floss.

I got it when I was 12 after I had braces for 18 months. Ever since then, I have had a few different dentists, due to growing up and changing insurances a few times. Every single dentist I have gone to has started the appointment saying I need to floss more, to which I tell them to try to do it, and they give up after two teeth.

Middle school and high school I did not take good care of my teeth (no cavities or anything close though), but when I got to college, I developed my current brushing-flossing routine: string floss, floss pick, waterpik, brush, then mouthwash 2x a day. I don’t know anyone else who does all of this and still flosses/mouthwashes throughout the day after they eat, as I do. However, I still am unable to floss my front teeth well because of this stupid retainer, and now my teeth are starting to darken around the edges on the front of my teeth.

What should I do? I feel like I’ve tried practically everything I can to the point where I have done more research than some hygienists I encounter, but nothing is working. Do I have to get them taken off? Can you even get them taken off? Do I have to track down my orthodontist from 12 years ago to do it/will it be covered by insurance? Any help you can give me would be helpful~


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