Caring For Braces
Getting braces can be the low-point in a teenager’s life. In fact, according to your child, braces are probably ruining their entire 7th grade year. The good news? All of us that speak from previous braces experience know that the years of “train tracks on your teeth” and cutting all of your apples into slices will eventually pay off.
Braces, while paying off in the long run, can have short-term negative effects if not cared for properly. They have tons of hidden spaces where they can trap food and build up an excessive amount of plaque. To help you and your child know what needs to be done to care for their teeth and mouth during this time with braces, we’ve compiled a simple list.
Brush your teeth after every meal and snack. If this means sending an extra toothbrush with your kids to school, then do it. If they’re embarrassed, tell them to hide it in their backpack and brush in the bathroom so nobody else sees.
Use the floss threaders that the dentist gives you to floss underneath and between your braces. We know this can be annoying and time consuming, but it is important that the floss reach places that a toothbrush can’t.
Don’t let your child eat things that will stick-to and/or break their braces. Common items are taffy, gummy treats, ice, caramels, popcorn and apples. Check out this link for a list of appropriate foods (and foods to avoid).
Make sure your kids wear their rubber bands and follow all instructions from their orthodontist. The better your child follows their instructions, the quicker they’ll get their braces removed, and the cleaner and healthier their teeth will be.
So even if your braces-wearing child complains, help them keep their mouth and braces clean. They might not be so happy now, but they will be very grateful to you and their braces in the future.