After kids get braces, they’re forced to pay more attention to oral hygiene. Once the braces have been installed, it takes additional work to keep them clean. It’s true that braces for kids can feel uncomfortable and require significant effort to keep clean, and at times, kids might feel overwhelmed by all the requirements for proper oral hygiene. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can make life with braces much easier for kids.
Cleaning When Away from Home
When kids leave the house, they shouldn’t go without an oral hygiene kit. For optimal results, the kit should contain wax, rubber bands, floss, toothpaste, lip balm and toothpaste. These are all products that encourage adequate oral hygiene, and they can be used between meals. By taking a kit, a child will always be ready for unforeseen hygiene situations.
It’s easy to store the kit inside of a bag, and it can be taken to school, sleepovers and field trips. A child should be encouraged to keep the kit with them at all times, which makes it easier to manage oral hygiene with braces.
Carry Extra Rubber Bands
With braces for kids, it’s a good idea to carry extra rubber bands. There is always the chance that a rubber band will break, so it’s important to have backup bands.
Over time, rubber bands lose elasticity and become worn, which is why they should be replaced frequently. Children should replace rubber bands after every meal. By wearing rubber bands all the time, the hooks are less likely to cut into cheeks and cause soreness.
Rubber bands are crucial for the treatment process, and they keep the treatment process moving at an optimal pace. If a child makes the mistake of forgetting to wear a rubber band one day, they should continue with the normal treatment process and avoid wearing two bands the next day.
Proper Cleaning for Braces
When a child wears braces, it’s essential to practice proper cleaning. A proper cleaning regimen is the only way to make sure a child’s teeth stay healthy. Braces can make teeth more susceptible to decay because they require more cleaning. It’s best to practice the full cleaning routine before bed, which consists of flossing, brushing and mouthwash.
For kids, the process of flossing thoroughly can take several minutes, and they must be taught how to complete this important process. Ideally, the full routine should be performed at night because it’s not likely to get finished in the morning.
Encouragement and Confidence
It’s quite common for kids to feel self-conscious about wearing braces, and to combat this issue, it’s important to encourage smiling. Kids need to know that braces are very common, and for many, they represent a normal part of growing up. It’s also important to avoid using whitening products until after the braces have been removed.
Although they may need to be worn for a couple of years, braces for kids can provide a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. Bring your little one to Pack Orthodontics in Murfreesboro or Shelbyville so that our orthodontist can assess their smile and determine if they could benefit from braces. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.