How to Take Care of kid’s Braces?
Convincing your kids to take care of their teeth is always a challenge, but once they have braces it seems to get even more challenging! Having braces, however, makes it all the more important to take care of teeth. Not only do you want to ensure the braces do their job and don’t break, but you also want to ensure healthy teeth with no cavities or tooth decay.
Helping your child remember that proper care of braces means they will work more quickly and efficiently can be a great motivator! After getting braces in Murphy Orthodontics, we’ll provide you several tips you and your child should do to take care of teeth with braces:
Brush Four Times per Day
Without braces, dentists advise brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. However, food tends to get stuck in braces pretty easily, which can lead to acid buildup and cavities. This is why most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day; in the morning after breakfast, after lunch, or right after school, after dinner, and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that their mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to the braces.
Floss with Some Helpful Tools
Flossing remains very important while your child is in braces. But, flossing can be difficult when brackets and rubber bands impede the progress of regular floss, which is why we suggest using some helpful flossing tools! Dental picks, floss threaders, super floss, interproximal brushes (often called a proxabrush), and Waterpiks are all great tools that provide more powerful flossing solutions for those in braces. Each tool is designed to improve the effectiveness of flossing for those wearing braces. At Murphy Orthodontics, Murphy we suggest researching a couple of them to discover the best solution for your child.
Replace Your Toothbrush More Frequently
Your child’s toothbrush will need to be exchanged in less time than its usual 3-month lifespan when your child’s brushing frequency increases. Additionally, the brackets will cause more damage to the toothbrush than teeth without braces would. It will be time to get them a new toothbrush when their toothbrush bristles begin to fray and the head loses shape, usually around 2 months of use.
A good way to remove debris that’s caught in braces is by vigorously swishing water after each meal. The water will be able to get rid of a lot of the stuck food, but harder to reach debris will need to be brushed or flossed away.
Avoid sticky candy
Sticky candy may taste delicious, but it creates quite a few problems for your child’s teeth and braces:
- Sticky candy is full of sugar, which causes tooth decay.
- Because sticky candy gets stuck on your child’s teeth, it holds the sugar close and causes even more tooth decay.
- Braces provide even more places for sticky candy to get stuck and hold sugar close to the teeth.
- Sticky candy can also stick to the part of the braces and rip them out while chewing.
For all of these reasons and more, your child should avoid sticky candy like taffy, caramel, or sugary chewing gum.
Avoid crunchy and hard food
Crunchy foods and hard foods can cause problems and should be avoided, just like sticky candy. Food like popcorn, hard pretzels, and jawbreakers can get stuck inside your braces and then cause the wire or brackets to break when chewing. A single bite of the wrong food can cause a lot of trouble for kids with braces!
Wear a mouthguard during sports
Sports like football, basketball, and soccer create a risk for your children and their braces. Loose balls or stray hands can accidentally hit them in the face and cause damage to their braces or gums. Most commonly, braces can cut the inside of their lip.
Wearing a mouthguard will help protect your child’s mouth and braces. Your child may not like them, but they’re much better than a bloody lip or a broken bracket!
Regular visits to the dentist
Visiting the dentist to get teeth cleaned is a must for kids with braces. They can check and clean areas that are often forgotten or difficult to reach. They can remove excessive plaque and calculus buildup that can cause tooth decay. They can also check for healthy gums, and help teach your child good habits for keeping their teeth clean.
Partner with your orthodontist
Your child’s orthodontist will have extensive experience in providing, inspecting, and caring for braces. They’ve also had plenty of experience working with kids, teaching them how to take care of their teeth to ensure the braces do their job as quickly and effectively as possible.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.