Dr. Casey Crafton • (410) 381-0900
Oral Care with Braces
Getting braces can be an exciting time for your child. Soon, they will have a straighter, healthier smile. However, in the meantime, they have their braces affixed to their teeth 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the treatment is complete. While your child’s oral care is always important, it is especially important when wearing braces. However, oral care with braces is a bit different than their routine. Crafton Dental can help you to maintain a good oral care regimen, helping them to keep their mouth healthy throughout the course of their orthodontic treatment.
Why is Oral Care Especially Important When Wearing Braces?
Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, every day. However, their oral care becomes especially important when they are wearing braces. With braces, food can get stuck along brackets and underneath wires. Plaque and bacteria have more places to hide. Without proper oral care, your child’s risk for cavities is greatly increased. If cavities form, having to get them treated could delay orthodontic treatment, leaving your child in braces for longer than initially expected.
Tips for Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Brushing should be done at least twice a day. It can also be helpful for your child to brush after each meal. Equip your child with a soft-bristled toothbrush. They should be holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and using circular motions. Several seconds should be spent on each tooth, with your child brushing all surfaces and around all sides of the brackets. An interproximal brush can help clean under the wires.
Your child should floss at least once a day. This helps to remove food and bacteria stuck under wires and around brackets as well as debris hidden between the teeth. Getting the floss under the wires can be a bit challenging. You can purchase floss threaders for your child, which can help to make the process easier. When your child flosses, make sure that they are not yanking the floss or pulling against wires or brackets. Doing so could damage their braces.
A Braces-Friendly Diet for Your Child
Your child’s diet will need to be adjusted while they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. We recommend a braces-friendly diet. This consists of foods that are softer and easier to chew. If your child is complaining of pain, which is common after adjustments, soft foods like mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, pasta, yogurt, and smoothies can help them to get the nutrition they need without causing more discomfort. Other foods your child can enjoy include beans and rice, soft fruits like bananas and berries, sandwiches made on soft bread, eggs, softer baked goods like muffins, burritos or tacos on soft tortillas, and soft cooked meats.
What Foods Should My Child Avoid?
There are certain foods that your child should stay away from while they are wearing braces. These foods include hard, crusty bread, chewy bread, whole crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots, hard candies, gummy candies, and chewing gum. These foods can damage their braces. Brackets may come loose. Wires can bend or break. Help your child to understand what they should avoid, and what they can eat instead, so that they can make good choices and avoid braces emergencies when at school or out with friends.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Even though your child has regular orthodontic appointments for adjustments, they still need to have their regular cleanings and exams during their treatment. These visits are important. Their general dentist can help to keep their teeth clean, preventing cavities and other issues. They can also detect issues and provide treatment that can help to avoid delays in orthodontic treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s oral care while wearing braces, do not hesitate to contact Crafton Dental at (410) 381-0900 today.
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