Braces are a necessary evil for many children, but they can be quite a nuisance. There is always something that needs to be done with the braces, such as:
- Cleaning them after eating.
- Cleaning them at night.
- Ensuring they don't get caught on anything.
However, there are tips to help make this process easier. This article will provide some survival tips for children who wear braces.
Introduce Wearing Braces Gradually
Your child may feel self-conscious when they start wearing braces, but it is essential to introduce them gradually. Talk about the new addition to their smile before they even get fitted for braces, and let them know that everyone will be noticing their shiny new smile. Praise them for being brave enough to wear braces and make sure to encourage them throughout the entire process.
When they finally get fitted for braces, have a photo session! This will help your child feel excited about their new look and show off their beautiful smile to all of their friends. Be sure to post the photos on social media so everyone can admire your child’s progress.
Don't hesitate to ask your orthodontist if you have any questions or concerns during the treatment process. They will be able to walk you professionally through each step and provide advice on making your child’s experience as smooth as possible.
Drinking Plenty of Water
After the surgery, any child dental specialist will tell you to make sure the child drinks plenty of water. This is because it keeps the mouth moist, which prevents dryness and helps one avoid food particles becoming stuck in between teeth or brackets on braces.
Therefore, as a parent, you must encourage your child to stay hydrated, especially if they feel thirsty. An excellent way to make sure they drink enough water is by setting a goal to drink about eight glasses of water per day. You can get them a fancy water bottle for this case or even put a post-it note on the refrigerator.
Another way to make sure your child remains hydrated is by offering them healthy drinks such as milk, diluted fruit juices, or herbal tea. Also, if your child likes sports drinks, you can dilute them with water 50/50.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Kids Pediatrics Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental checkup by the time they reach their first birthday. By doing so, your child's dentist can establish a dental home where they will receive the best possible care. This also helps them identify any problems early on, preventing further complications later in life.
However, if your child is wearing braces, it's important to schedule regular checkups with the orthodontist to ensure that the braces are working as per the plan and are not causing any damage to the teeth.
Brushing After Meals
It's important to remind your child to brush after every meal. This will help remove and prevent any food particles from sticking onto the braces, which can be painful if left up for too long.
Make sure your child is brushing correctly – this means that they should brush their teeth in a circular motion (not back & forth) using an extra soft toothbrush not to damage or irritate the wires of the braces. Make sure you remind them where possible throughout the day!
Brushing with braces on is very difficult because it's almost impossible for children to have access to all areas inside their mouths at one time without opening wide enough that their nose gets into things also! For this reason, they shouldn't try dental flossing until their brace treatment has been completed.
If your child is brushing as recommended by the orthodontist and there are still food particles left on their braces, you can use a mouthwash once or twice a day to help remove them. Mouthwashes should only be used after brushing all teeth – unless they contain fluoride (which helps rebuild enamel) because it's important not to swallow any mouthwash containing fluoride until after lunchtime!
Avoid Sticky Foods like Gummy Bears
While it may be difficult for the little ones to do without taffy, gummy bears, and other sticky snacks, they are a big no-no when you’re wearing braces. The sugar in these snacks will quickly attach to your braces and become a pain to remove.
Instead, encourage your child to try healthier alternatives like sliced fruit or vegetables, yogurt, or cheese cubes. If you realize your child is struggling to give up their favorite sweet snack, then allow them to have it once a day but make sure that they brush their teeth straight afterward!
Stock Up On Orthodontic Supplies Like Wax, Elastics, and Retainers
If you want to make the experience of wearing braces a little easier on your child, stock up on orthodontic supplies like wax, elastics, and retainers. As child dental specialists often say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." You will want to ensure that your child has access to all the supplies they need to prevent any problems before they start.
For example, although it may not seem like much, orthodontic wax can be one of the best investments you can get for your money. Wax helps keep food out of braces and off wires while also reducing irritation which often comes with wearing elastics and other appliances. Orthodontic wire cutters are another must-have when it comes to making life easier on children who wear braces by allowing them full control over their oral hygiene habits.
Wax should be replaced every three months. However, if your child eats sticky foods often, they will need to replace them more often.
Restrict Sugary Snacks and Drinks
Almost every child dental specialist will likely give you a long list of foods to avoid while your child has braces. This is because sugary snacks and drinks can cause tooth decay and other dental problems. It's essential to be diligent about following this list, as it will help keep your child's teeth healthy during treatment.
Introducing your child to braces is a big step, but they can easily adjust to their new smile with proper care. By following the simple tips mentioned above, your child can have a successful braces experience and achieve the beautiful smile they deserve!