Caring your child’s braces and teeth can be challenging, so having an understanding on dental hygiene and possible dental problems that may surface becomes more important than ever before. Taking care of braces is necessary in preventing problems while they’re on and later on having a beautiful smile when they are removed.

Importance of Proper Oral Hygiene for Kids with Braces

Proper dental hygiene is key in preventing common problems such as demineralization, gingivitis and plaque build-up, however, it is more important during the time when a child wears orthodontic appliance such as braces. Oral hygiene is more complicated with braces on, and kids are more susceptible to dental problems.

The dental problems mentioned above can be miserable to deal on their own, but if ignored and left untreated, they have the potential to cause secondary dental health problems. Sometimes, the dentist may have to remove the braces and buy some time for the gums and mouth issues to recover before reattaching the braces.

How to Correctly Brush and Floss Teeth with Braces

Children with braces should take extra care when cleaning their teeth. Brushing 4 times a day is a great way to remove plaque and food particles from building up in their metal braces. The toothbrush should also be replaced more often, especially if the braces begin to wear down or fray.

1. Hold the toothbrush parallel to the floor.

2. Move the brush in circular motions, moving from tooth to tooth, going to the curve of the gums and teeth.

3. Brush every tooth for a few seconds, the back of the mouth, insides of the teeth and behind and sides of the molars, the tongue and the roof of the tongue. Brush in an upward-downward motion.

4. To clean the brackets, angle the brush when brushing them.

Flossing can be a hassle, but this is very important to be done every night after tooth brushing. For children with braces, you have to use ‘threader floss’ to be able to floss around wires. This floss has stiff ends that allows flossing between brackets.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Mouthwash

When brushing teeth with braces, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Brushing using a manual toothbrush will increase the risk of leaving plaque and food particles behind. It is highly encouraged to use power toothbrush.

No specific toothpaste is necessarily needed for brushing teeth with braces, but the use of fluoride-enriched toothpaste is encouraged. Choosing a type of toothpaste that features comprehensive protection helps keep optimal oral health.

Children is recommended to use mouthwash two times a day for a minute every time to rinse the brackets. The use of mouthwash will help clean the little gaps between the teeth where food residue could still be trapped after flossing and brushing.