There often comes a time where children need to have braces in order to prevent any further complications with their teeth and ensure a straighter smile. It is generally recommended that children visit the orthodontist between 7 and 9 years of age, just after they have lost their baby teeth and the adult teeth are beginning to come through. This is an ideal time for dentists to ascertain any issues with crooked teeth, overbites, overcrowding and jaw positioning and determine whether your child will require braces in future.
Whilst some children are apprehensive about having braces fitted, many view the opportunity as a positive one and feel a sense of maturity after having them fitted. Whilst braces are remarkably effective at correcting crooked teeth and making it easier to care for teeth and gums in future, it is important that a few precautions are taken to keep them clean and in good condition. It is not uncommon for food and plaque to become trapped in and around braces, which increases a child’s risk of tooth decay. To help you and your child maintain optimal oral health, Specialist Kids Dentist have prepared a brief blog post highlighting our 5 top tips for caring for braces.
- Brushing and Flossing
Whilst it is recommended that everyone brush their teeth twice daily, those with braces should brush after every meal as food stuck between braces can cause acid build up and possibly even cavities. It is a good idea to get into the habit of brushing 4 times daily. Brushing should be performed immediately following breakfast, as soon as possible after lunch, immediately following dinner and finally prior to going to bed. This will allow a child’s mouth to remain debris-free and healthy, reducing their risk of cavities and ensuring the braces remain in optimal condition.
Flossing should also be performed to remove the more stubborn particles, especially those that tend to get stuck around the brackets and bands of braces. Throughout orthodontic treatment, the alignment of teeth will also alter, and this may open up additional crevices for bacteria to hide in. You can use a variety of methods/tools including dental floss, waterpiks and dental picks.
- Rinse with Water after Meals
Children should consume a glass of water after each meal. Water will help to clear any stuck food, relieve any irritation from the braces and assist in preventing dry mouth.
- Regularly Replace Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes become less effective over time as the bristles start to wear down, and braces cause them to wear out faster. Orthodontists recommend replacing children’s toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months. If you notice any signs of fraying or unusual wear, it’s time for a replacement toothbrush.
- Choose Brace Safe Foods
Certain types of food can cause damage to the bands, wires and brackets of braces. Hard and sticky foods should be avoided wherever possible, and if you do consume these foods you should use caution. Sticky foods have a tendency to become stuck between the braces and may require dentist removal, whilst hard foods can cause the bands to snap or buckle. Some good brace-safe food include soft fruits, cooked vegetables, milk, yoghurt and fish.
- Attend Dentist Check-ups Regularly
The friendly and professional team at Specialist Kids Dentist have a wealth of experience in orthodontics, and with regular check-ups we will be able to monitor your child’s progress and ensure great results. During your child’s check-up, we will perform a thorough clean to remove any plaque and tartar accumulation and make any adjustments to the braces as necessary. It’s a good idea to attend the dentist every 3 months for professional cleanings.
Specialist Kids Dentist – Paediatric Orthodontics Summer Hill and Liverpool
At Specialist Kids Dentist we put the needs of your child first, striving to provide a comfortable and safe environment and foster a healthy attitude towards oral hygiene from a young age. As Sydney’s leading paediatric dentistry, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at our practice today. Appointments can be made by calling 02 9600 6848 or via our website.