If you or your child is getting braces, you know how important it is to step up your oral hygiene game. Of course, this can be tricky, especially for kids, so we have compiled some of the best tips to make it easier.
Allow extra time to brush and floss. Taking extra care with oral hygiene is important to avoid tooth decay and gum inflammation. Adopt the mindset that these normal routines will just take longer for a while. For children, consider adding a reward system for using proper oral care techniques.
Begin Your Routine with Rinsing
Before you begin brushing, vigorously rinse your mouth with water. This will help loosen food and debris stuck between teeth, in bands and brackets, and in other nooks and crannies.
Brush in Stages
Use the standard brushing technique but divide it into two stages: Above brackets and below. Angle your brush head at 45 degrees and brush gently at the gumline. After that, move from the gums to the edge of the brackets, making certain to reach all the way around each bracket. Repeat the process for the other half of the teeth, angling the brush from the bracket edges toward your lips. While it might be more difficult to thoroughly brush the interior surfaces (facing the tongue), take extra time with this step. Finally, focus on chewing surfaces.
Master Flossing with Braces
Flossing can be a bit trickier with traditional braces, since the arch wires bisect the teeth. Many patients find that using a floss threader makes this process easier. In a short time, you will get used to placing the pointed threader end between both “halves” of the teeth. Always angle floss up into the gumline to thoroughly remove debris.
Follow your brushing and flossing with a second rinse of water or mouthwash. This step will help sweep away any remaining food particles. Mouthwash will make your mouth feel fresher and cleaner. Children can use water or special alcohol-free rinses. Our orthodontist can recommend specific rinses.
The rewards of orthodontics include a more attractive smile and better functioning teeth. Ensuring proper oral hygiene during treatment is worth the extra effort. Contact our orthodontic office to discuss any questions or concerns about oral care, or to schedule your next visit. In the meantime, keep up your good hygiene habits.