If your child has braces or will be getting them on soon, they should be doing everything they can to make sure the end result is beautiful. Some kids find it challenging to learn to care for their braces. We have a few very important tips that your child should implement in order to finish the braces process successfully
Oral Hygiene is Important with Braces
The most important step in taking care of your braces is proper oral hygiene. Since your braces tend to attract more plaque, which means more bacteria and more possibility for cavities and gum disease. Bacteria around the brackets causes acid, which in turn can result in brackets falling off. What that means to you is longer time in treatment and a high possibility of cavities. The best way your child can clean his/her braces is with an electric toothbrush, ideally 2-3 times a day, and with the use of a waterpik to clean between the teeth at least once a day.
If your child has braces, you may be told that they need to wear “elastics.” We use elastics to gently bring teeth up or down to help your child’s teeth fit together well when they bite down. What that means to you is that it is CRUCIAL that your child wears elastics as instructed. Your child must wear elastics every day, 24/7 unless eating or brushing teeth. If they are not worn at all times, it could mean significantly prolonging the removal of braces, or it could lead to less than optimal results.
Avoid Hard Foods
Hard foods are the biggest culprit for brackets breaking off the teeth. By biting on a piece of hard food, it can hit the bracket and dislodge the cement, making it come loose from the tooth. Therefore, the consequences of brackets falling off is delayed completion, frequent visits to the office for bracket replacement, and sores or cuts in the mouth.
When plaque and bacteria sit on braces and teeth for a prolonged period of time, they can result in smelly breath. Since bad breath is caused by bacteria, plaque, and tartar in your mouth, especially if present on your tongue, that means you can reduce bad breath by making sure your child brushes his/her tongue.
Cavities around Braces
Cavities form in many different ways. They can form between teeth from not flossing or using the waterpik. And they can also form on the top parts of the teeth from food, where plaque and bacteria get stuck in the tiny grooves and pits of the teeth. In addition, they can form around the gum line from not removing plaque and bacteria effectively with a toothbrush. As a result, we recommend avoiding sticky, sugary foods since they promote cavities. Also remember to brush and floss every single surface of your teeth.