Braces are an investment in your child’s future smile. Like any other important – and valuable – investment, it’s wise to keep braces clean and in good shape so that they can properly function. While keeping teeth clean is pretty straight forward work, maintaining clean braces is a bit more time consuming and involves the help of some other tools. Below are some of the best ways to keep your kids’ braces clean.
1 – Brush Four Times per Day
Without braces, dentists advise to brush twice per day for two minutes at a time. However, food tends to get stuck in braces pretty easily, which can lead to acid buildup and cavities. This is why most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day; in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that their mouth stay debris free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to the braces.
2 – Floss with Some Helpful Tools
Flossing still remains very important while your child is in braces. But, flossing can be difficult when brackets and rubber bands impede the progress of regular floss, which is why we suggest using some helpful flossing tools! Dental picks, floss threaders, superfloss, interproximal brushes (often called proxa brushes) and Waterpiks are all great tools that provide more powerful flossing solutions for those in braces. Each tool is designed to improve the effectiveness of flossing for those wearing braces. We suggest researching a couple of them to discover the best solution for your child.
3 – Replace Your Toothbrush More Frequently
Your child’s toothbrush will need to be exchanged in less time than its usual 3 month lifespan when your child’s brushing frequency increases. Additionally, the brackets will cause more damage to the toothbrush than teeth without braces would. It will be time to get them a new toothbrush when their toothbrush bristles begin to fray and the head loses shape, usually around 2 months of use.
4 – Swish Water
A good way to remove debris that’s caught in braces is by vigorously swishing water after each meal. The water will be able to get rid of a lot of the stuck food, but harder to reach debris will need to be brushed or flossed away.
5 – If There’s One Cardinal Rule…
Avoid sticky and hard foods. Sticky foods to avoid include: toffee,; Tootsie Rolls, Caramels, Gum, Licorice and Starburst. Hard foods to avoid include: chips, Jolly Ranchers, Corn, Tacos and hard breads.
Hard and sticky food is very difficult to dislodge from braces, so the best way to keep it out is by avoiding it all together!
Does Your Child Need Braces?
Are you concerned with the way your child’s smile is developing? Then visit our office! We will evaluate their smile and help you determine the best treatment solutions for them, whether or not that includes braces. We’re here to be your orthodontic specialists, and will happily answer any questions you may have.