Now that your child is wearing braces, you want to make sure he or she is taking the best possible at-home care of them. Of course, as a parent, you likely already know all too well that children tend to cut corners when it comes to their oral health. However, brushing is as important as ever with braces, since bacteria have a lot of opportunity to build up in those tricky nooks and crannies. Our goal today is to help your child prevent tooth decay–and invite you to read our orthodontists, Dr. Jeff, Dr. Soo and Dr. Betina’s top five tips for brushing those braces, with a bonus tip for advice on brushing the retainer!
1-Take it all off
Before they begin brushing their teeth in 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.) It’s important to remove bacteria that can lead to harmful plaque buildup, around braces parts as well as teeth and gumline.
2-Clean the brackets
Your child should start by gently cleaning around the braces. You can help them accomplish this by instructing them how to use the toothbrush. You can demonstrate how to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and focus on cleaning the areas around the wires and parts of the braces–going from the top and then the bottom. Your child needs to be careful to make sure that all the plaque and debris are removed from around the brackets, so they need to clean around each and every bracket.
3-Brush the teeth
Once the brackets are properly cleaned, instruct your child to brush all the surfaces of the teeth. They can do this by placing the toothbrush in the space above the braces and brushing the tooth between the gum and braces brackets. They need to apply gentle pressure and brush in a circular motion, for about 10 seconds each. They can use this same approach to brush the outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush at an angle as needed.
4-Rinse and check
Once your child feels sure they’ve done a thorough job brushing both the brackets and their teeth, they need to rinse with water or mouthwash and then take a careful look in the mirror–to see if everything was cleaned properly. Their teeth should feel, and look, clean and healthy. They can feel the difference just by running their clean tongue over their teeth. They should feel smooth and clean!
5-Floss, floss, floss
We understand that getting kids to floss is never easy, and now that they have all that tricky hardware in their mouths, it most likely won’t be any easier for them. Super floss, which you will get from our orthodontist’s office is a useful tool that can make flossing easier. Another easy cleaning tool to use is a Waterpik®. Initially, you’ll want to monitor your child’s flossing habits until you’re confident that he or she is doing a diligent and thorough job of cleaning their pearly whites.
6-Bonus Tip: 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 part of their orthodontic treatment. This removable device must be brushed once a day, too. Be sure they use a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove harmful plaque and the accompanying odors–just like you do with your own teeth. Soaking the retainer in a denture solution helps, but it shouldn’t be substituted for a thorough, daily brushing session.
Your Shirck Orthodontists 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 are wearing braces. If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Shirck orthodontics office. Our skilled orthodontists, Dr. Jeff, Dr. Soo and Dr. Betina are here for your child’s smile!
For the best orthodontist in New Albany, Westerville and Pataskala, you can count on our orthodontic teams. We’re proud to serve our neighbors in Granville, Powell, Newark, Westerville, New Albany or Pataskala, Ohio.