Clean teeth and healthy habits while wearing braces are a necessary evil because braces trap food, plaque and bacteria, which increase the chances of gingivitis and tooth decay.
Here are a few helpful tips to ensure your child’s teeth and free of diseases.
1. Brush in the morning and before bed
This is important for everyone whether you have braces or not. But, it’s especially important for those wearing invisalign or conventional braces. Food tends to get stuck in braces pretty easily, which can lead to plaque buildup, acid, white spots and cavities. This is why most orthodontists advise brushing multiple times per day; in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing helps the mouth stay debris-free, helps fight gingivitis, cavities and prevents potential damage to the teeth..
Brushing alone can’t remove all the food particles around the brackets and between your teeth, especially rubber bands. As the alignment of teeth changes, creating more nooks and crannies, cracks and crevices that may harbor more debris than usual.
Since braces are harder to clean we suggest using some tools to get those hiding places that are hard to get. Interdental brushes, picks, floss threaders, superfloss, and water flossers are all great tools that provide more powerful flossing solutions for those in braces. Each tool is designed to improve the effectiveness of flossing with braces. You will have to try them to find the best solution for your child. I love the BURST Water flosser especially if your kids have braces.
- Swish with water after eating
Swishing your mouth with water after meals or sugary drinks is a great way to flush out bits of food caught in braces.
Water will also balance the pH of the mouth and rinse away acids.
4. Stay away from hard and sticky foods
Even without braces, hard and sticky foods can damage your teeth. The damage can be worse with braces. Hard food can cause the bands or wires in braces to break.
Sticky foods, on the other hand, can get stuck in the braces and can be difficult to remove.
When wearing braces, these types of food should be avoided to keep teeth clean and healthy.
5. Replace toothbrushes or electric toothbrush heads regularly
It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months for healthy and clean teeth. With braces toothbrushes wear out faster. This is mostly from the damage to the bristles by the brackets. In addition to the 3-4-months rule, if you notice the bristles are getting worn or frayed, change it sooner.
6. Visit your dentist
Routine dental check-ups and cleanings are important while in braces. The orthodontist helps straighten teeth. The dentist is there to make sure they stay healthy. Braces make teeth more prone to plaque, tartar accumulation and gingivitis, so cleanings are actually more important now than ever. Therefore, we recommend more frequent cleanings. 3 or 4 per year.
7. Nasal Breathing
Having a tongue thrust and mouth breathing will make treatment more difficult for the orthodontist, because the habits will make the spaces more challenging to close and the teeth become more difficult to align. It can also slow down the process of treatment; meaning, the braces will need to be worn for an extended period of time. Or after you get the braces off there is a relapse meaning the teeth will shift out of alignment and you will need to wear braces again.
Myofunctional therapy is a way of treating the dysfunctional habits so you can have a successful outcome.
If you think you or your child have any of these habits, schedule a 10-15 minute free call to see if Myofunctional Therapy is an option to correct them and keep your teeth straight.