Caring for Orthodontics
Many kids wear orthodontics (braces) to straighten teeth and to improve the occlusion. Most kids need to wear their braces for around 18 months, however this will vary from child to child.
Good oral hygiene is especially important when your child is wearing orthodontics. Poor cleaning may result in white spot lesions on your child’s teeth around the braces. This will look like permanent white areas on the teeth when the braces are removed and are a sign of early decay.
How Should My Child Brush Their Orthodontics?
Teeth are harder to clean with orthodontics and food particles are more easily trapped in the small spaces between teeth and wires, so meticulous cleaning is critical. 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. It will also take extra time to clean and floss with braces, so ensure your child build this extra time into their dental routine.
Your child firstly needs to prepare to brush by removing elastics and any other removable parts. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire and then from the bottom, and work around all upper and lower teeth. A specially designed brush to clean around the braces and under the wire is recommended.
Should My Child Use Mouthwash?
Many dentists and orthodontists recommend your child rinses their mouth or clean their teeth after every meal or snack whilst wearing their orthodontics. A fluoride mouthwash will also help control plaque build-up in areas that are difficult to reach with the toothbrush.
How Should My Child Floss with Orthodontics?
Flossing is also more challenging, and your child needs to be extra careful not to damage their braces. Thread one end of the floss carefully under the main wire (called the arch wire) between each tooth. Floss carefully between the teeth to ensure the braces are not damaged. Special floss is available to clean around orthodontics.
When Should My Child Visit the Dentist or Orthodontist?
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.
Caring for teeth with braces takes more time, however the end result will be a clean, healthy mouth and shiny, straight, healthy teeth.