How to Floss a Lower Fxed Retainer
The method is proposed by an orthodontist (braces doctor): Tim Shaughnessy. He practices in John Creek, Georgia.
After braces are removed, we have to wear retainers to prevent crooked teeth from coming back. There are two types of retainers. One is removable, the other fixed. For the removable retainer, we have to take in and take out it every day. It is easy to clean our teeth. If we are not so serious (not wear it every night), crooked teeth are most likely to come back. By contrast, the fixed retainer stay in our mouth and are bonded to the teeth (Fig.1,'2 arrow, wire). The teeth do not move easily, but it is difficult to clean, especially with dental floss.
The traditional fixed retainer wire (Fig.'2 arrowhead) is bonded to every one of six lower front teeth (*). Dr. Shaughnessy has introduced a new design of the fixed retainer so that we can floss around it. In the new design, the fixed retainer is bonded to some of the bottom teeth (Fig.2 *, before braces are removed). To floss, slide a piece of floss between the teeth (Fig.3), turn the floss around the tooth without being bonded (Fig.4), and slide the other end of the floss into the next space (Fig.5,6). Last push the floss down past the wire and cross the ends of the floss (Fig.7) and move back and forth (Fig.'7 double arrows) and up and down.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 03/02/2013, last revision 03/04/2013