Children often get braces around the time that they gain a set of permanent teeth, with Metamorphosis Orthodontics explaining that braces can benefit children as young as eight. This fact, combined with the difficulties of caring for braces efficiently, means that parents often want to do all they can to make the orthodontic work a success. This article explains a few simple things you can do to help care for your child's braces.
Help Them Develop An Efficient Oral Hygiene Routine
When your child gets braces, they will usually be at an age where they are capable of brushing their teeth unsupervised. However, as braces come with an increased risk of trapped food leading to tooth decay, you may want to work with your child to make sure their daily routine is up to scratch. Kids Dental advises on what a daily routine should look like for a child with braces, including a thorough brush after every meal. They explain that your child may have to modify their brushing and flossing techniques to ensure that their braces are clean and that you may have to buy new toothbrushes more often.
Take A Look At Their Diet
There are certain foods that should be avoided with braces, some because of an increased risk of tooth decay and some because of their propensity for breaking braces. Speaks Orthodontics lays out a list of foods that your child shouldn't eat, from chewy foods like sweets to hard, brittle ones like nuts and popcorn kernels. It may be a good idea to reduce the amount of these foods you have in the household, so your child doesn't feel tempted or left out.
Try To Prevent Broken Braces
While it seems inevitable that your child's braces will break at some point, there are steps you can take to make it less likely. For example, Colgate suggests that you invest in a custom-made mouthguard for your child to wear when they play sports, which will protect their braces and teeth. You should also discourage any bad oral habits that could break their braces, such as nail-biting and pen-chewing. Apart from this, there isn't much you can do, so make sure you know what to do in case of a broken bracket or wire, and keep your orthodontist's number in your phone.
It can seem like there is a lot to remember as the parent of a child with braces, but by following the simple steps above, you can ensure that your child's experience of braces is a positive one. After a while, they will start to take care of the braces themselves, building on the good foundation of oral hygiene that you have built.