If your child has recently started wearing braces, developing a cavity is one of the quickest ways their treatment can get derailed. Having to fix a problem tooth can easily add months to your child’s treatment, but thankfully, avoiding tooth decay with orthodontics isn’t that complicated. Here are 5 simple tips you and your child can follow to prevent cavities while they’re wearing braces in Utica, OH.
1. Brush with Extra Care
Your child should already be brushing their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each, but with braces, that two minutes may just not cut it. The metal brackets can easily trap plaque and food debris against their teeth and increase their risk for developing cavities. So, make sure your child is taking the time to brush thoroughly and get into every nook and cranny of their orthodontic appliance. You should also consider getting your child a special toothpaste that’s able to re-calcify their teeth and strengthen the enamel, giving them a little bit of extra protection.
2. A Whole New Way to Floss
Flossing is essential to cavity prevention, but doing so the traditional way can seem quite impossible with braces. Fortunately, there are a number of flossing products specially-designed to work around braces so your child can reach those tiny areas between their teeth. Ask their orthodontist for recommendations, and they’ll likely be able to show you how to use them.
3. Limit Sugary Treats
As we touched on above, leftover food particles in the mouth can quickly accumulate on metal brackets, and if your child routinely indulges in sweets, this can skyrocket their risk for cavities. You don’t have to throw out all of the sweets in the house, but it’s best to limit your child’s consumption of sugary drinks and snacks while they’re wearing braces. And, after they have the occasional treat, it’s a good idea to have them rinse their mouth out with water as well.
4. Consider Invisalign
Is your child a teenager? If so, then they could have their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear braces in Utica, OH. This clear aligner system is a more cosmetically friendly option that is still very effective at correcting misaligned teeth. Even better, the aligners themselves are removable, meaning your child will be able to brush and floss just like they did before treatment, making it easier to safeguard their oral health.
5. Don’t Forget Progress Checks!
After your child begins treatment, their orthodontist will want to see them every few weeks to make sure things are progressing as planned. These appointments are extremely important! Not only do they allow your child’s orthodontist to make any adjustments as needed, but they’ll also be able to spot and treat any cavities during their earliest stages, minimizing their impact on your child’s treatment time.
With these tips, your child’s journey to a straight and beautiful smile will be over before you know it, and you’ll wonder how the time went by so fast. Of course, if you ever need any additional help while your child is in braces, their orthodontist is always just a phone call away!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and has been voted as Columbus’ Top Orthodontist from 2011 onward. At his practice, he helps patients of all ages achieve perfectly straight smiles using his years of experience, state-of-the-art technology, and a wide selection of treatments. If you believe it’s time for your child to get braces, then he invites you to schedule a FREE consultation today.