How to Take Care of Braces
It is important to understand how to properly take care of braces if your child recently got. While there are extra steps that you will need to take, having braces can act as a friendly reminder to take extra care of your oral health. Establishing a routine at an early age will set your child up for a lifetime of healthy habits. This article will provide the top five tips for taking care of your teeth while wearing braces.
Brush at least twice a day
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. With braces, it’s best to brush every time you eat because food stuck in your teeth is less likely to rinse out or come loose on its own. Proper brushing techniques can make a tremendous difference as well. In the beginning, brush your teeth with your child to visually demonstrate dental hygiene techniques.
- Show your child how to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, facing towards the gums of the upper and lower teeth. While holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, clean around the wires. Brush from the top of each wire down to the bottom.
- Move the toothbrush back and forth with short strokes on the interior, exterior, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Make sure to take your time to ensure that all plaque is removed.
- Hold the toothbrush vertically for brushing the front teeth. Clean each tooth individually, using a circular motion to reach around the corners, top, and bottom.
You may want to consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as they provide a thorough cleaning. There are even special electric toothbrushes made for brushing teeth with braces. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, replace the toothbrush head every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are splayed.
Wearing braces creates more areas for food to get trapped and bacteria to form. As such, it is even more important to floss regularly if you wear braces. Flossing at least once a day helps keep your gums healthy. Flossing helps remove plaque build-up that forms at the gumline, which is critical for preventing periodontal (gum) disease. Flossing helps remove sticky sugars and bits of food between teeth and around braces. Consider using orthodontic floss for braces to get in between the brackets. You may also benefit from adding a Waterpik to your hygiene routine.
Avoid sugary drinks
Generally speaking, kids love sweet and sugary drinks, but these act as a nemesis for healthy teeth and gums. Encourage your child to drink lots of fluoridated water, which is one of the best things you can do for teeth. The fluoride in water can fortify teeth by restoring calcium and phosphorus. Sugary drinks, on the other hand, are one of the worst products for teeth because the sugar in soda and sports drinks combine with mouth bacteria to form acid.
Reduce chewy, sticky, and hard foods
Chewy, sticky, or hard foods can wreak havoc on teeth and braces. Not only can these foods lead to breakage of the braces, but they can also adhere to the teeth longer and cause a build-up of bacteria and plaque. Encourage your child to stick with soft foods, such as pasta, yogurt, soups, cooked vegetables, and scrambled eggs.
To Take care of braces, schedule regular check-ups
Make sure to schedule and attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist to have a professional keep an eye on your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. Your orthodontist can help identify any problems early.
Contact Bruno Orthodontics to schedule your consultation today.
Bruno Orthodontics offers Invisalign, braces, and other orthodontic treatment for adults, teens, and children in an award-winning office in Chevy Chase. Dr. Jill Bruno is a Diamond+ Provider for Invisalign, putting her in the top 1% of Invisalign doctors. Convenient online scheduling and virtual consults are available for new and current patients.