For kids today, having braces isn’t such an embarrassing thing like it was when most of us were in school. In fact, braces are even becoming somewhat of a fashion statement. In Asia, people are buying do it yourself kits to apply prosthetic ones just to have “the look”. With all the options readily available, adults are choosing to get braces, too. Invisalign (clear, hardly noticeable braces) are popular with adults who want the benefit of straight teeth without “the look” of an awkward preteen. Having your child fitted for braces is a lifetime investment. With the typical course of treatment costing in the thousands of dollars and requiring two year and beyond timeframes, it’s not an investment you want to take lightly. Teaching your child to properly care for her braces is a must, but you can’t do that unless you’re educated yourself. Here are some tips to help you out.
Brushing is imperative when a child has braces. If they did not have good brushing habits before being fitted with braces, it’s a skill they absolutely must master post-fitting. That doesn’t just mean the customary when they wake up and before bed brush times. Your child must also brush after lunch, supper, snacks, or anytime after they eat something. This usually requires bringing tooth brushing gear to school and making time between classes for brushing. If teeth are not properly cleaned while they are in braces, your child runs the risk of having white spots on their teeth once the braces are removed, which will require even more costly, time consuming treatments to get rid of.
Flossing is just as important as brushing, even with braces. Have your orthodontist demonstrate the correct way to maneuver the floss between the hardware of the braces for effective flossing.
When the orthodontist goes over the foods that are off limits to your child while undergoing treatment, listen to him because he means it. Lots of foods that your child may have been accustomed to can wreak havoc on dental work. Hard candies, sticky candies, sharp foods, ice – all of these things and many more, can damage, not only the teeth, but the hardware of the braces, too.
Mouth abrasions are going to happen as long as your child has braces. Ulcers, scrapes, bites, and mouth sores are very common because of the hardware coming in contact with the delicate skin inside the mouth. It’s very important that your child has dental wax on hand at all times so she can apply it to any part of the hardware that’s especially bothersome and rubs. Also, Peroxyl oral antiseptic mouthwash by Colgate works wonders for healing the abrasions and keeping the mouth clean and is also a must have.
It’s so important to keep your child’s orthodontic appointments on a regular schedule. In the six week timeframe between each visit, the teeth go through so many changes that, by the time the next appointment comes around, the teeth have shifted too much for the hardware to be doing any good. That’s why the wires and bands are changed at each visit. Also, always remember to bring any problems to the attention of your orthodontist so that they can be addressed in a timely fashion.
When all of the hassle that comes with having braces gets to be too much, just remind yourself and your child how absolutely beautiful their smile is going to be when it’s all finished.