Many children need braces once their adult teeth come in. A dentist may recommend braces for your child for a number of reasons. Some need them to straighten teeth out and give them a brighter smile, while others have a misalignment of the jaw, which requires the use of braces to right the alignment.
After braces are allowed to be removed, the work they have done should last a lifetime without further care. But while braces are still on, they need to be properly maintained Kids are often first time wearers of braces. As parents, it is your job to help teach your kids healthy habits that will help ensure their braces do their job properly.

First Time Braces Tips to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits

Regular Cleaning
Braces contain brackets and bands, and even the most careful eaters can end up with bits of food stuck in these mechanisms. If these food bits are not cleaned out, bacterial growth can occur which can damage and decay your child’s teeth. It’s important to explain to kids why you clean braces every night so they know not to skip out. An electric toothbrush is recommended for most braces wearers. These devices easily loosen food and plaque buildup. In addition, it is recommended a water pick be used. The force of the water can push out stubborn food pieces in the back of the mouth. A dentist in Glendale Heights recommends you use floss and toothpicks after meals if possible as well.

Good and Bad Foods

Most foods are fine to eat with braces, but there is a list of other foods you may want to watch out for. Have your children stay away from sticky foods like gum, caramel, taffy, and gummy bears. Hard candies, suckers, regular and chunky peanut butter, nuts and popcorn should also be avoided until braces can come off. Ask your dentist what you should avoid and why.

Regular Checkups
Finally, it is important to continue with regular dentist visits. Cavities and other dental issues are still possibilities even with braces. In fact, sometimes, cavities can become more prevalent when braces are being used. You’ll also need to continue with follow-up visits at your orthodontist. Make sure kids stick to a cleaning schedule and tell you when anything is wrong or painful.

As you can see, oral care is much more involved when you have braces. Children may struggle with proper hygiene, so it is important to stay involved with how they care for their braces. You might even consider creating an incentivized program in which they can get rewards for taking proper care of their oral health. Doing all of this will keep your kid’s mouths healthy and give them all the benefits of having braces.

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