If your child has had braces for their teeth recently, or if you’re preparing for this milestone, congratulations! They’re on their way to a happier, prettier smile. It is important that they protect their mouth during the time their braces are on by following some basic guidelines for caring for the braces and teeth.
The teeth may be tender within the first few days after your child’s braces have been put on his or her teeth. This is a common part of the treatment process and the pain will soon subside. The good news is this sensation is an early indication of movement of the teeth.
Meanwhile, it’s never too early to start practicing good oral hygiene and make some changes to daily practices to protect the teeth and mouth of your child while the braces are doing their job. The earlier your child can follow these tips to look after braces and set up healthy habits, the better the healthier their teeth and mouth will be.
It’s a good idea to follow the two-by-two method when it comes and brushing with braces — brush for two minutes each time twice daily. Choose fluoride toothpaste and a brush with a soft-bristle. Remove rubber bands or other interchangeable accessories and then get to work! Start on top for two minutes, and start moving the toothbrush across each tooth using a gentle circular motion.
When they brush, encourage them to make sure that they push the brush down below the wires to get it all over and under the braces. Once they have done this on top of all the teeth, switch to the bottom of the teeth and repeat.
Flossing is essential
Since a toothbrush will not hit all the crevices and cracks between each tooth, your child should likewise floss once a day. Floss with a thread or other flossing materials for getting in between each tooth and extracting food particles may have skipped the toothbrush. Then, once the brushing and flossing is finished, remind them to rinse with mouthwash to reach any stubborn areas that may need some extra attention.
Use a Water Pik
Although they do not substitute flossing, oral irrigators like the Water Pik may be an excellent complement to the oral hygiene regime for braces. There’s a bit of a learning curve with getting the hang of using a Water Pik, but many patients enjoy it once it’s integrated into home routine. Oral irrigators can be a perfect tool to help extract stubborn food debris that has been missing from the toothbrush and floss.
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