Now that your child has braces, you want to make sure he or she is taking excellent care of them. But as you, a parent, know all too well, children tend to cut corners when it comes to their oral health–but brushing is as important as ever with braces, when bacteria has a lot of opportunity to build up in those tricky nooks and crannies. Help your child prevent tooth decay–read your orthodontist’s top five tips for brushing those braces, and a bonus tip for advice on brushing the retainer!
1: Take it all off
Before brushing braces, your child should remove any rubber bands, wax or other removable appliances they may be wearing. (After all, we don’t leave on any clothes before hopping in the shower.)
2: Clean the brackets
Your child should begin by cleaning around the actual braces. Help them accomplish this by instructing them to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and focus on the areas around the wires and pins of the braces–going from the top and then the bottom. They should be careful to ensure all the plaque and debris is removed from around the brackets, and be sure to go around each and every bracket.
3: Brush the teeth
After the brackets are cleaned, your child should then brush the surface of the teeth. They can do this by placing the toothbrush in the space above the braces, brushing the tooth between the gum and brackets. Apply gentle pressure and brush in a circular motion, for about 10 seconds each. Use this same approach to brush the outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed.
4: Rinse and check
Once your child feels sure they’ve done a thorough job brushing both the brackets and teeth, they should rinse with water or mouthwash and then take a careful look in the mirror–was everything cleaned properly? Teeth should feel, and look, clean and healthy.
5: Floss, floss, floss
Getting kids to floss isn’t ever easy, and now that they have all that tricky hardware in their mouth, don’t think it’s going to be any easier. Super floss, which you will get from your orthodontist’s office, makes it easier. Be sure to monitor your child’s flossing until you’re confident he or she is doing a thorough job.
6: Don’t forget the retainer!
Once your child’s braces have been removed and his or her teeth are straight and beautiful, it’s important not to forget about the retainer. This removable device must be brushed once a day, too. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove plaque and odors–just like you do with your teeth. Soaking the retainer in a denture solution helps, but it shouldn’t be substituted for a good brushing.
Your Westerville Orthodontist Cares
If your child follows these steps twice a day, every day, his or her teeth should remain strong and healthy the whole time they have braces. But if you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Shrick’s office, your orthodontist in Newark and Westerville, OH. We’re here for your child’s mouth–and you!