Many parents invest thousands of dollars into making their child's teeth straight for health and cosmetic reasons. After the orthodontic bill, the last thing you want to do as a parent is spend thousands more on restoring teeth as a result of poor oral hygiene. If you or your child has traditional braces, caring for teeth can be somewhat difficult, but necessary. Following these tips can help your child, teen, or even yourself care for your teeth while in braces.
1. Water is necessary to survive and it is important for your body as well as your teeth. The water works great as a rinse after meals to flush out anything left behind without softening or desensitizing teeth. Teeth can become weakened further if brushing immediately after exposing your teeth to sugary substances.
2. Brush teeth after meals with proper techniques and angles to get around the brackets and wires. Some stores sell proxabrushes that are designed for using after a regular toothbrush to glide under braces more easily. Send disposable tooth brushes with them to use after lunch while your kids are at school.
3. Floss sticks are much easier to use than regular floss with braces. The ends are slim and pointy, designed perfectly to get in between close contacted areas to prevent build-up of plaque. If you don't floss, you're missing 35% of your tooth surface.
4. Rinse with a non-alcoholic mouthwash. The rinse will flush out foods brushing and flossing may not be able to catch or reach. The alcoholic based rinses can lead to dry mouth which can cause mouth sores, bad breath, and increase the risk for gingivitis or periodontal issues.
3. Rinse with warm salt water to help with soreness and pain from the pressure of the teeth being guided by the braces.
4. Use wax designed for braces to prevent cuts or soreness from the rough edges of the brackets.
5. Invest in a custom fit mouthguard to protect and prevent your child from a mouth injury during sporting and athletic activities.
6. Avoid certain foods that are soft or sticky like breads, taffy, or gum that could get stuck in the brackets or cause the braces to loosen or break.
7. Avoid sugary beverages like sodas and sports drinks that can soften already weakened teeth from acid erosion. Sugary drinks can also cause plaque build-up and stick under the gums leading to sensitivity, tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Find out more information on Orthodontic services at John P. Goodman, DDS as well as How To Tell If You're Child Needs Braces. If you or someone you know has any questions or is interested in Braces and Invisalign, please contact our office at 816-842-5335 or set up a Consultation.