BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
The presence of braces in your child’s mouth creates areas where food can pack and also bacteria multiply. This can cause small cavities in such areas. So how are you supposed to clean your child’s braces?
- You start by taking off the elastics and other removable parts that may be present.
- Position your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and move from top to bottom.
- Apply gentle pressure while doing circular motions.
- Tilt your brush for better access in hard to reach areas.
Make sure your child brushes their teeth preferably after every meal. They will spend more time brushing their teeth since it involves extra steps. Encourage them to take no less than 5 minutes ,remember the longer the better.
Your dentist may also recommend interdental brushes which makes it easier to clean the spaces between your teeth.
A floss is necessary to clean under the wire and those hard to reach areas between your teeth. By the end of brushing and flossing the edges of the braces should be easily seen.Remember brush and floss or prepare for a loss
VISIT YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY
The essence of visiting the dentist regularly is for routine adjustments where the wire and the bands may be changed or adjusted to meet the treatment objectives. You also visit when there is discomfort so that it can be adjusted. Another reason is because the dentist is in a better position to detect cavities and gum diseases and deal with them before they progress further.
WATCH YOUR CHILD’S DIET
Cut big chunks of food into small bite size pieces for foods such as apples , this is because trying to fit it those huge chunks often leads to the bracket detaching from the tooth. Also avoid chewy, sticky, hard and crunchy food, these foods cause so much force to be exerted on brackets hence they detach from the tooth surface. When the braces are adjusted the teeth may feel a little more sensitive at this time so it’s always a good idea to have soft foods that do not need you to bite or chew, like a smoothie or soup.
KEEP LIPS MOIST
Lip dryness is expected and this leads to cracking of the lip which is very uncomfortable. Remember to apply some vaseline to your child’s lips to prevent this from happening.
Avoid sports with high chances of getting hit like contact sports like football or rugby, getting hit causes the brackets to detach from the tooth . However if inevitable please get your child a mouth guard to protect their braces from these external forces. Other sports such as swimming should be done under supervision.
HANDLING BROKEN WIRES
If your child is complaining about a piece of wire poking them in the cheek , the wire is most likely broken. This is usually very uncomfortable and hence should be addressed immediately. First thing you do is find a comfortable device, this could be the eraser end of a pencil and use this to move the broken end of the wire to a more comfortable position .Once this is achieved, contact your dentist immediately for further assistance which may involve changing the wire or attaching the bracket that fell off leaving a hanging wire.
AVOID FIZZY SOFT DRINKS
These drinks contain the colour which easily attach to the tooth and brackets discolouring them and also remembering that the teeth and gums are usually difficult to clean at this time ,the stains are usually hard to remove.
DO NOT BITE NAILS,PENS ETC.
Your child may be used to putting things in their mouth or may have habits such as biting their nails or chewing their pen. These habits put a lot of force on the braces and may cause the brackets to fall off.
This is a long term process and the outcomes may not be visible overnight but in the bigger time frame,the changes are visible and they are usually marvelous.