If your child or teen has traditional braces to straighten the teeth, their teeth need special care. Now more than ever it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene.
The brackets and wires offer far too many tiny spaces that can trap food particles. If these bits of food aren’t removed on a timely basis, plaque can form which is the first step to tooth decay and even gum disease.
Cleaning Your Teeth With Braces
- Use a toothbrush with a soft head and fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush after every meal and even after snacking.
- First rinse your mouth with water to remove some of the food particles.
- Brush gently to avoid damaging the brackets and wires.
- Brush the gumline of each tooth first, then angle down to get the top of the brackets and then angle up for the bottoms.
- Floss after every meal. Using a floss threader may make it easier.
- Thread the floss carefully between the tooth and the wire, then move it back and forth.
A water flosser like Waterpik® is an easy and effective way to take care of plaque around braces. The device even comes with a special tapered orthodontic tip.
Importantly, make sure that you bring your child into our office for regular cleanings and exams – at least every 6 months. Preventive care is even more important with braces to ensure that the teeth and gums stay healthy.
Foods To Avoid
Keep your orthodontist’s list of foods to avoid handy. To prevent damaging the brackets and wires, help your child stay away from foods that are:
- Hard like hard candy, nuts and ice
- Chewy like bagels
- Sticky like caramels and gum
- Gummy like gummy candy
- Crunchy like pretzels and popcorn
Also avoid foods that you must bite into such as apples, corn on the cob and raw carrots.
Don’t chew on any foreign objects such as pens and pencils. If your child is a nail biter, this is the perfect time to quit!
Keep on Top of Good Oral Health When Wearing Braces
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.