Does your child have to get braces? Well, don’t worry, your child isn’t alone. In fact, a study found that about 4.5 million Americans wear braces daily.
However, due to its appearance and comfortability, kids are likely to neglect their braces and oral health. As a parent, you may be wondering, “how can I help?”
Don’t worry, with this guide you can find out! From encouraging brushing after meals to booking regular dentist appointments, you can learn how to help your child care for their braces.
Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at braces care tips for children:
Encourage Brushing After Meals
It’s crucial to instill good dental care at a young age. After all, most kids and even some adults tend to only brush their teeth twice a day.
During treatment, kids need to brush their teeth after each meal to ensure food doesn’t get stuck in their braces or their teeth for too long.
If they are unable to brush during school hours, encourage them to rinse their mouth with water or with a small amount of mouthwash.
To make sure your child brushes effectively, purchase an electric toothbrush with thin bristles. The thin bristles will help reach around the braces to clean the tight and small areas of the teeth. You also should purchase fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities and defend against tooth decay.
Urge Your Child to Floss Daily
Flossing is an important step to achieving good dental hygiene. However, kids tend to skip this step, and even adults without braces overlook flossing entirely. It’s estimated that over 58% of people don’t floss at all, so instilling flossing at a young age is crucial.
Make sure your kid flosses at least once per day. Since flossing can be a hard skill to instill, make it into a game, so it’s less boring and more fun.
Even reward your child after every successful attempt. That way, kids recognize that flossing leads to praise and recognition instead of just nagging.
Now, if your child is using regular floss, you may want to purchase a floss threader to get to small areas under the wire. Although for some kids, it can be difficult to use. Ask your child’s orthodontist about what they suggest for your child’s needs.
Discourage Your Child From Eating Certain Foods
Sadly, there are some foods that should be limited while your child is wearing braces. One of the biggest is sugary candy and desserts. With its sticky consistency and loaded with sugar, children should steer clear of dessert during treatment.
Here’s why: it can get stuck in between the braces causing them on rare occasions to rip out while chewing. Also, the sugar content can cause cavities and start to rot the teeth if too much sugar is consumed.
Thus, try to limit the amount of sugar your child consumes. This includes desserts like cake, ice cream, candy, or cookies. It also involves sugary drinks like soda, juice, and tea.
Additionally, children should avoid hard foods like pretzels, nuts, or carrots. Hard foods have a tendency to break brackets which can cause discomfort and lead them to ultimately need to be replaced.
Now, it can be difficult to withhold such food from your child. However, try to remind them that it’s only a temporary precaution, and when they have their braces removed, they can once again eat the treats they love.
Invest In a Mouth Guard
If your child plays a sport, it’s crucial that you purchase a mouth guard for your child to wear. Sports like football, soccer, and even baseball can cause injury to the mouth and braces from the impact of a ball or another accident. A mouth guard will keep their teeth safe and prevent injuries from occurring.
While it may be uncomfortable, it’s certainly better than a broken bracket or a broken tooth. Now, if your child may feel awkward wearing it around his or her friends, you can always remind them that all the sports legends wear one. That will certainly increase your child’s confidence in having to wear a mouth guard during sporting activities.
Book Regular Dentist Appointments
Booking routine dentist visits are crucial when caring for your kid’s braces. After all, dentists can help remove additional plaque and clean areas that can be hard to reach. Precautions like these ensure that your child’s gums and teeth stay decay-free and healthy.
That way, your child can enjoy a clean and healthy mouth once treatment is over. For best results, try and schedule a dental check-up every few months. It will not only benefit your child now but during his or her future as well.
Use These Braces Care Tips Today
Kids often don’t like to take care of their braces, so as a parent, you’ll need to help them take care of their dental hygiene. You can help by encouraging your child to brush after each meal, floss daily, and avoid certain foods.
By reminding them of their responsibility to their oral health, you can prevent them from getting cavities and even breaking their brackets. However, try to make it fun.
After all, no kid wants to do something that’s boring. So make it into a game or include a reward every time they take care of their braces on their own.
Now, for more information about braces care for kids, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.