How to Care for your Child's Braces
Whether your child is excited or dreading braces, they are on the road to a perfect smile. Caring for their braces properly not only helps with their effectiveness but keeps your child more comfortable during this time. Because it’s so easy for food to get stuck in wired braces, your child needs to work extra hard to keep their teeth clean. Here are 4 tips to take care of your child’s braces to ensure their teeth remain healthy.
It’s important to teach your child the correct way to brush with braces since braces create areas in which food can hide. Brushing after meals is essential.
- Remove any elastics on their braces
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, have your child brush at a 45-degree angle where their gums meet their teeth, using a back and forth motion.
- Brush the braces directly and use enough pressure to push the bristles onto the brace brackets on the top and bottom surfaces, and to clean the wire.
- Examine their teeth to make sure there aren’t any food particles still stuck in the braces.
- Reinsert the elastics
This process should take about two minutes, or the length of your child’s favorite song.
Encourage your child to vigorously swish water and every meal and snack. This will help to remove food stuck in between their teeth and braces wiring and is easy to do when you aren’t able to brush right away.
How To Floss
Your child’s flossing technique is a bit tricky since there is wiring across each tooth, but it is still an important part of the process. We recommend your child flosses at least once daily. Help your child until they get the hang of it. Dental floss will need to be used with a floss threader, which looks like threading a sewing needle.
- Gently place the threader under the wire and between the teeth
- Use a push-pull stroke to remove any plaque or food debris in between the teeth
- Make sure you use a different part of the floss for each tooth so your child isn’t moving plaque from tooth to tooth.
This process takes a lot of practice so use a lot of encouragement eventually they will fall into a routine.
Your child’s teeth can be quite sore after an adjustment. Encourage them to eat soft foods and brush extra gentle. Your child should avoid certain foods. Sticky and hard foods are the worst for your child’s braces. Avoid sticky foods like Tootsie Rolls, caramels, gum, licorice, and Starburst. Hard foods to avoid include chips, Jolly Ranchers, tacos, hard pieces of bread, and popcorn. A good rule of thumb is it the food gets easily stuck in teeth without braces, it is sure to be worse for your child who wears braces.
For more information on braces, check out our post on everything you need to know about your child’s braces. And if you are curious to see if your child is ready for this big step, don’t hesitate to contact us.