It’s always useful to keep good oral hygiene when you are wearing braces. Here, at Dr. Surillo’s Children’s Braces and Dentistry, we put equal emphasis on the promotion of good oral health, hygiene, and the alignment of your kid’s teeth. Remember that we are a dual-specialty practice, meaning that the treatment your kid receives won’t neglect essential aspects of their dental health.
Maintaining a good dental hygiene routine is challenging enough on its own when you have young kids. Still, by the time they get orthodontic treatment in their early teens after they’ve lost most of their baby teeth, they may have already developed an increased sense of responsibility towards this vital part of their daily activities.
A quick reminder about orthodontic treatment: we usually avoid putting braces on baby teeth, so consult with your orthodontist about the right age to start your kid on treatment.
Parents and professionals have to help kids keep in mind the value of their dental hygiene throughout their orthodontic treatment. Because there are many little details to keep in mind, we wanted to prepare this guide for all our patients and individuals curious about the importance of dental hygiene during their kid’s orthodontic treatment.
Careful With What You Eat
Seasoned braces users know what we are talking about, and even if you or your kid are new to orthodontic treatment, you may have already heard that patients need to be careful with what they eat. Carefully considering what your kid eats while wearing braces will help prevent decay, staining, and gum disease.
Some of the most well-known restrictions include avoiding hard or crunchy foods because they can break your brackets. You might also be familiar with preventing some drinks that can stain your kid’s teeth. Stay clear from sticky foods because they are particularly adept at grabbing onto your braces after you eat.
Minding your food and drinks is a significant part of avoiding decay during treatment.
You can check a list we prepared on some of the snacks you can get while wearing braces. They won’t put your orthodontic appliances at too much risk, but you should still consider brushing well and flossing after eating. Speaking of which…
How to Thoroughly Clean Your Teeth
Our goal is to remove food debris easily trapped both inside and around your teeth or braces. Doing so will help prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, and staining.
It would help if you considered using the appropriate toothbrush during your kid’s treatment. Ask your orthodontist about which type of toothbrush to use. The bristles should be soft to avoid damaging your brackets, and you can’t forget to use good toothpaste with fluoride and dental floss.
Your child should already be brushing three times a day and flossing daily, but it may prove beneficial to consider brushing your teeth after every meal, when your kid wakes up, and before going to bed.
If the orthodontic treatment aims to solve tooth spacing, you could get an interdental brush for your kid to help clean the space between their teeth. Some patients prefer this method to dental floss, and if it is within your means, a water pick or irrigators will help remove food debris and plaque more efficiently.
Ideas for Your Kid’s Routine
Start with all the prep work. Remind your kid to take off any elastics or removable parts of your orthodontic appliances. Yes, we know they are all technically removable if you try hard enough, but be careful not to break anything, please.
Try to guide your kid to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to start cleaning around their braces’ wires and pins. If it’s hard to imagine a 45-degree angle, think in halves. First, the bristles can be parallel to the ground, then they can be pointing at the floor, and finally, they can orient them somewhere in the middle of those two previous positions.
Tell your kid to brush every tooth individually. There is no need to use too much force, and kids should try to clean their teeth in a circular motion. Repeat the same movement for the outer and inner surfaces of their teeth.
Don’t forget to floss once a day. Flossing might be tricky, but practice makes perfect. Grab a piece of dental floss and teach your kid to hold it with their thumbs and index fingers. Slide the dental floss between two teeth and start the back and forth motion.
Finish the routine by telling your kid to vigorously rinse their mouths with water or mouth rinse.
Congratulations, you just completed a successful dental hygiene routine!
Ask For Professional Help
Considering that one in every five kids has tooth decay between the ages of 6 and 11, we all must help them take care of their teeth. Don’t hesitate to ask for qualified help to continue supervising your kid’s journey towards a healthy smile.
If you are yet thinking about starting orthodontic treatment, why not ask a professional who has received specialized training to help younger patients? Dr. Surillo is a certified pediatric dentist, meaning he knows how to make children feel comfortable before, during, and after treatment here in our practice.
Set your next appointment online or give us a call. We are thrilled to help out with your kid’s smile!