Getting braces is a big deal because, on the one hand, it is a lasting investment, while on the other hand, you realized that taking care of braces needs extra vigilance for both you and your child. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, braces help fix teeth that are crooked, too close to each other, and also far apart, as well as help solve under or overbites. Caring for braces is a vital part of the experience because it will affect its effectivity and longevity as to how long your child will have to wear it.
If your child’s dental hygiene was not the best before he or she had braces, it is time to step up the game. Taking care of their teeth and gums are extra important when they wear braces which means they need more time to floss and brush their mouth. Keep in mind, though, to always be gentle when cleaning their teeth to avoid damaging the wires and brackets.
Oral care may be tricky, but here are five tips to help your child take care of their braces:
- Use the Right Tools
As recommended by KidsHealth, kids with braces need to brush their teeth after a meal as food and plaque get effortlessly stuck between your child’s teeth and braces, which increases their chance of developing cavities. Three tools are found in grocery and drugstores that can help your child care for their braces. First, encourage your child to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, brushing above and below braces at a 45-degree angle in circular motions. Next, reach between braces by using an inter-ortho brush. Lastly, purchase a floss threader, which creates a loop for dental floss, making flossing behind braces much more accessible. Remember that too much force when flossing can damage your child’s braces.
- Use Fork and Knife
Getting a hungry child uses a fork and knife to eat pizza, burgers, and the like can be a challenge, but it is crucial. Foods such as these usually get stuck in between teeth and braces right after biting them. Not to mention, hard foods can damage brackets and wires. Please encourage your child to use a fork and knife when they want to eat hard to bite foods. More so, cut off the corn on the cob and slice fruits and vegetables into bite-size to avoid hurting their braces.
- Foods to Skip
Aside from hard to bite foods, your orthodontist will ask your child to refrain from eating sticky and chewy foods such as caramel, crunchy food such as popcorn, as well as biting nails and ice as it can spell trouble. While without braces, hard and sticky foods can damage your child’s teeth, it is worse with braces. Hard foods can cause the bands and wires to snap. On the other hand, sticky or chewy foods get wedged in between and can be difficult to remove.
- Replace Toothbrush Regularly
Generally, toothbrushes need to be replaced every three to four months. For kids with braces, it is faster, mostly because of the braces’ damage to the bristles. If you notice that the bristles are already worn out, then it is time to get a new brush to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.
- Visit Your Dentist
Routine dental check-ups and cleanings are essential while your child has braces to keep track of their teeth’ progress as your kid’s orthodontist and the dentist will help straighten teeth and keep the mouth healthy.
No matter how long your child wears braces, the results will be successful if they follow their dentists’ instructions and recommendations. Having it means paying close attention to your child’s mouth, but the results are worth it. Do your best in helping your child and prepare for the coming off, showing off a better smile to the world.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.