The “braces years,” (or months, depending on your child) can be difficult ones. The goal is to give your child straight, attractive and properly functioning teeth, and you both look forward to the day when a new and confident smile can be revealed. But in the mean time, you need to make sure your child’s teeth are getting the care they need to keep the teeth and gums healthy throughout the braces years. It starts with some important information:

A child in braces is at higher risk for developing plaque  
It’s more difficult to clean teeth that are in braces. Food particles and plaque have places to accumulate and become trapped, potentially causing decay. But it’s possible to make sure the teeth that come out of braces are as healthy (or healthier) as the ones that went in.

Extra vigilance starts at the sink
Here’s a ten-point routine you can help your child follow that might seem obvious, but is often avoided. It will pay off in the long run:

  1. Remove elastics and any other removable parts of the orthodontic appliances
  2. Brush carefully on and around wires and pins
  3. Brush for two minutes, twice daily
  4. Use fluoride toothpaste
  5. Floss at least once a day
  6. Use waxed floss
  7. Use a floss threader to protect braces and get into difficult-to-reach areas
  8. Don’t skip any areas
  9. Rinse thoroughly
  10. Examine teeth and braces in the mirror for any remaining food particles

Keep up with regular dental visits
With frequent visits to the dentist to adjust and check braces, you might feel like your child’s schedule can’t take much more. But it’s never been a more important time to keep up with their regular dental check-ups. The good news is, at Children’s Dental Fun Zone, we provide pediatric dental services as well as meeting your child’s orthodontic needs. Check-ups and adjustments are essential — we can repair any broken areas of the braces and note progress on the one hand, and check for cavities or plaque build-up on the other.