Braces are quite common for kids nowadays, especially that there are roughly 3.5 million children and teens who are on orthodontic treatment each year and need braces. If you have had braces when you were young and are now already a parent, you know the struggle of having braces. You recall the moments and difficulties when you need to have your braces adjusted and still learning how to keep your teeth clean. If your kid recently had interceptive orthodontics and is getting adjusted to having braces, they also need to continue living with good dental hygiene. The importance of proper cleaning and how to avoid staining your teeth while on braces has to be taught to kids and teens with braces.
Here are some helpful tips for children with braces on how to keep their teeth clean.
- Avoiding sticky food.
Sticky foods and braces do not go along well. Children should avoid chewy candies and gums as they can be disastrous when wearing braces. If kids continue having these foods, they may get trapped in the braces and stickier items are difficult to remove. The best way to make it easier for kids is to keep themselves off of sticky and hard foods while they are wearing braces.
- Brushing teeth three to four times a day.
We know how important it is to brush your teeth daily. But if your kids have braces, it becomes a crucial part of their daily routine that they need to practice religiously. Kids with braces need to brush their teeth regularly, and not only twice a day, like the recommended number of times, but they need to do it three to four times in a day to ensure that there is no food trapped in their braces and avoid bacteria to breed on their teeth. If they can, they should brush their teeth every after they have food, including lunch and an afternoon snack.
- Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Many people think that using a hard-bristled toothbrush is better at cleaning teeth, but it is the opposite especially when your kid has braces, soft-bristled toothbrushes are the preferred choice because they can bend and flex around braces. It can get in crevices where a brace meets the tooth.
- Removing the bands before brushing.
Not every kid who has braces are required to wear elastic bands. Most of the time, elastic bands are necessary when the braces have settled to a child’s teeth after a month or so. If your kid is wearing bands, before they brush their teeth, they must remember to remove the band first before brushing their teeth. Elastic bands limit how far the mouth can open, and with that, the kid will not be able to reach the hard-to-reach places when brushing. The elastic bands will get in the way when brushing their teeth and difficult to reach the molar areas.
- Use a flossing tool daily.
We are always told to floss our teeth every after we have food to avoid having food remnants stuck in between teeth, as they can cause bad breath if left uncleaned. For kids with braces, they still need to floss daily, and they often have a special flossing tool that their dentist can provide them to help reach the areas that were not thoroughly cleared by a toothbrush.
Proper hygiene is taught to kids at a young age, and it is a good practice for them until they grow up. However, it is inevitable that kids will have dental hygiene issues especially when they are advised to wear braces to correct their teeth alignment and other dental issues. So, it is necessary to teach them the importance of cleaning and brushing their teeth even if they have braces. They need to follow their dentist’s instructions and also some tips are helpful in keeping their teeth clean even on braces.