Since the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontist visit by age 7, your child could have braces before they reach their 10th birthday! It can seem difficult to ensure your child will keep his or her mouth clean with braces, but the truth is that having braces doesn’t dramatically change their oral care routine.
Your child can maintain proper dental hygiene with their braces with the right tools and support. Here’s how!
Since braces unfortunately make it easier for food to get trapped in the teeth due to the wires and brackets, it’s essential that rinsing become part of your child’s routine. This could be a simple rinse with water a few times a day to loosen trapped food, or you child may benefit from a mouthwash or fluoride rinse to further protect their smile. You can talk with your dentist about mouth rinses and how they’ll impact your child’s oral health.
Your child’s brushing routine won’t change. They should still brush for the full two minutes two times a day. However, brushing may take a little more effort with the braces in the way. Your child may have to learn how to properly position the toothbrush in order to remove plaque effectively.
To do this, have your child gently brush their gumline first. Then, you can have them angle their toothbrush down and brush the top part of the teeth above the bracket. Finally, move to the bottom part of teeth below the bracket and brush upwards. This way, you’re brushing the entire tooth and floss can help remove everything in between.
Brushing regularly will help avoid stain marks around where the brackets are, so brushing is an integral part of your child’s oral care routine!
Although flossing will get a little trickier with braces, it’s essential that your child still flosses. By using flossing aids such as floss threaders, your child can get under braces and remove plaque that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Proper flossing is going to be essential to keeping up with dental hygiene with braces!
No matter how well your child cleans their teeth, getting checkups with your dentist every six months is crucial. During these cleanings, your dentist can remove plaque that’s built up and give your child’s mouth a proper teeth cleaning. They can also identify problem areas where your child should focus more on. Your dentist may even suggest that your child come more often while receiving orthodontic care in order to ensure your child’s mouth isn’t at risk for cavities and gum disease. Checkups are going to be the best thing you can do to help your child maintain oral hygiene while they have braces.
Is your child getting braces? Talk with them about how their oral health routine will change in the coming years. Ask your orthodontist or dentist to explain proper brushing techniques to your child. You can also ask your orthodontist what flossing aids would be best to get under wires. Your child can have proper oral health and still have braces!