Good oral hygiene is especially important when your child is wearing orthodontic braces. Teeth are harder to clean with orthodontic braces and food particles are more easily trapped in the small spaces between teeth and wires, so meticulous cleaning is critical.
Poor cleaning may result in white spot lesions on the teeth around the braces, which are a sign of decay and will look like permanent white spots when the braces are removed.
When the braces are first applied, your child’s orthodontist or dental hygienist should show your child the proper technique for brushing and flossing with braces. A specially designed brush to clean around the braces and under the wire is recommended. It will also take extra time to clean and floss with braces, so ensure your child build this extra time into their morning and evening dental routine.
Flossing is also more challenging, and your child needs to be extra careful not to damage their braces. Special floss is available to clean around braces without damaging them.
As food particles are more easily caught between the teeth and braces, many dentists/orthodontists recommend your child rinses their mouth with water or cleans their teeth after every meal or snack whilst wearing orthodontic braces. Using a fluoride mouthwash several times each day will also help control plaque build-up in areas that are difficult to reach with the toothbrush and floss.
While your child is undergoing orthodontic treatment, they should visit their orthodontist roughly once a month. The orthodontist will check the condition of their braces to make sure that they are putting sufficient pressure on the teeth in order to straighten them. Regular visits are also important to identify potential problems and ensure the braces are causing minimal discomfort to your child.
Caring for teeth with orthodontic braces takes more time, but remember that orthodontics are an investment in your child’s future smile and dental health, so it’s important they take care of them.