Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits in Kids with Braces

Braces are a rite of passage for many children, and while they’re essential for a straight, healthy smile, they require extra care when it comes to oral hygiene. Our WSG team has seen firsthand how maintaining good oral hygiene habits with braces can make all the difference in a child’s dental health. We’ve compiled a few of our best, most practical tips and tricks to help your child keep their teeth and braces clean and their smiles bright.

 Choosing the Right Tools

Selecting the right tools is crucial for effective oral hygiene with braces. Encourage your child to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the braces or causing discomfort to the gums. Additionally, provide interdental brushes or floss threaders to help clean between the wires and brackets where food particles often get trapped. Demonstrating how to use them gently but thoroughly will ensure your child understands their importance. Lastly, choose a fluoride toothpaste recommended by your dentist to help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of decay.

Establishing a Routine

Consistency is key to maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Help your child establish a daily routine that includes brushing after every meal to remove food particles and plaque. Set a timer or use an app to ensure they brush for at least two minutes each time. Additionally, make flossing a nightly habit before bedtime, showing your child how to floss around the wires and brackets gently to avoid causing damage. Incorporating a fluoride mouthwash into their routine can also help rinse away bacteria and food particles from hard-to-reach areas and strengthen the tooth.

Watch Out for Problem Foods

Certain foods can be challenging to eat with braces and may increase the risk of damage. Remind your child to avoid sticky or chewy foods like caramel, gum, and gummy candies, which can get stuck in braces and make them difficult to clean. Similarly, advise them to steer clear of hard foods such as nuts, popcorn, and hard candies, as these can bend wires or break brackets, leading to discomfort and additional appointments. Limiting sugary snacks and beverages is also essential, as they can contribute to plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Regular Dental Checkups

Attend regular checkups with your pediatric dentist and orthodontist to monitor your child’s progress and address any concerns. These appointments are an excellent opportunity to reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene and receive professional cleaning and guidance. Your dentist will provide personalized advice based on your child’s specific needs and the progress of their orthodontic treatment. By attending these appointments regularly, you can ensure that your child’s teeth and braces remain healthy and properly cared for throughout their orthodontic journey.

Lead by Example

As a parent, your behavior plays a significant role in shaping your child’s habits. Lead by example by prioritizing your own oral hygiene and demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques. Make dental care a family affair by brushing and flossing together, creating a supportive environment that reinforces the importance of good oral health for everyone.

Importance of Wearing a Retainer

After the braces come off, it’s tempting to think that the journey to a perfect smile is over. However, wearing a retainer is crucial to maintain the results achieved by braces. A retainer helps prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position, ensuring that your child’s smile remains straight and beautiful. Emphasize the importance of wearing the retainer as prescribed to maintain the results of the orthodontic treatment and protect the investment made in your child’s dental health.

Contact Our Where Smiles Grow Team Today!

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits with braces requires dedication and effort, but the results are well worth it. By choosing the right tools, establishing a routine, avoiding problem foods, and scheduling regular dental checkups, your child can enjoy a straight, healthy smile for years to come. Encourage them to take ownership of their oral health and lead by example to reinforce the importance of good hygiene habits. With your guidance and support, they’ll breeze through their braces journey with a confident, radiant smile.