Orthodontics LA

Five Ways to Help Your Child Care for Their Braces

Posted on October 29, 2020

braces for kids

Millions of people begin teeth straightening treatments every year, and according to the Dental Association, 70% of braces are currently being worn by female patients. However, while this treatment has become more popular with adults for aesthetic purposes in recent years, most orthodontists still recommend that children receive braces early to help prevent any problems from worsening as they grow.

While braces for kids are relatively commonplace, many parents may worry that their children won’t be able to take good enough care of their teeth throughout treatment. This is especially true if your child tends to forget oral hygiene habits without reminders. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways parents can help their children take care of their braces throughout treatment.

1. Encourage Brushing After Every Meal

While it’s always good to try and instill this habit at a young age, most children (and adults) only tend to brush twice a day at most. However, during treatment, it’s important to encourage children to brush after every meal. If they’re unable to brush during school, encourage them to rinse their mouth with either water or a small bit of mouth wash. This will help ensure that no food gets stuck for too long between their teeth or in their braces. While brushing with braces for kids, you should look into getting an electric toothbrush with thinner bristles that are able to get around the braces to clean those hard to reach places. Additionally, you should invest in a quality fluoride toothpaste to help fight tooth decay and prevent cavities during treatment.

2. Encourage Flossing Every Day

While this is another important thing that even many adults without braces tend to overlook, it’s an important step when caring for kids’ braces. If using standard floss, you may want to invest in a floss threader to help get under the wire; however, if this proves too difficult, a thin interdental cleaning brush can be used. You may also consider asking your child’s orthodontist about their recommendations on which method is best and which would work best for your child.

3. Encourage Them to Avoid Certain Foods

We all know how much kids love sticky candies; however, during treatment, it is recommended that they steer clear. Not only is candy full of sugar which can cause cavities, but it can get stuck in the teeth and braces, sometimes even causing the braces to rip out while chewing. Similarly, you should encourage your child to avoid hard foods such as hard pretzels which could break wires or brackets. When it comes to getting braces for kids, this is often the biggest struggle that families face, after all, it’s hard to tell a kid they can’t have candies! Ultimately though, you should gently remind them that it’s only a temporary measure and that once their braces are off, they can start enjoying these treats once again.

4. Invest in a Mouthguard

If your child plays sports, it’s important to invest in a mouthguard and encourage your child to wear it. Sports such as soccer, football, and basketball can cause damage to the mouth and their braces if they have an impact from a stray ball or other accidents. A mouthguard will help prevent this and keep their teeth safe while they play. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, it’s a better option than risking a broken bracket or a bloody lip!

5. Book Regular Dentist Visits

Dentist visits are especially important when caring for braces for kids. They can help remove additional plaque and clean areas that might be difficult to reach at home. Measures like this can help ensure that your child’s teeth and gums stay healthy and decay-free during treatment, allowing them to make the most out of a healthy mouth once treatment is over.

If your child has or is going to receive braces for kids in the future, consider implementing some of these encouragements to help your child get in the habit of properly caring for their teeth and their braces. If you need additional advice, reach out to your orthodontist for recommendations!