Parents – How to make sure your kids are taking care of their braces

Parents – How to make sure your kids are taking care of their braces

More and more teens are getting braces than ever before. Braces are more than a means to a pretty smile. They set the stage for healthy teeth and gums for years to come. The thought of a healthy mouth makes it worth the cost of the braces. For the teen, however a healthy mouth many years down the road has little value when compared to the here and now. It is a parent’s responsibility to educate their teen on the proper care and maintenance of braces. While the braces are on, they do require special care. If the brackets are broken off due to negligence, you will be charged a fee to replace them. In addition, if your teen does not implement a teeth and gum cleaning regimen, then they will experience problems down the road.

If you are a teen who has braces, you know by now how important it is to take care of your braces, teeth and gums. It may seem like a never-ending ritual that takes way too much time, but in reality, it is a simple routine that is easy to implement.

Stepped up Brushing and Flossing Regimen - Orthodontic brushing and flossing is by far the important factor in caring for your mouth. Where you once brushed and flossed three times per day, you now need to brush after every meal and before going to bed. The metal brackets and wires are easy places for bacteria and plaque to hide and fester. The food particles eventually turn into cavities. Your orthodontist may recommend a 4% fluoride toothpaste instead of the regular toothpaste found at the grocery store. The additional fluoride assists in strengthening your teeth and avoiding cavities.

Increased Flossing
- Flossing is mandatory with teen braces. The only way to floss around the brackets is with floss threaders. They allow you to get the floss under the wires. Flossing needs to be done on a daily basis, no exceptions.

Foods to Avoid
– Teen braces are strong, but not unbreakable. They are designed to break off under certain conditions to protect the teeth. Because of this, certain foods need to be avoided when wearing braces. You don’t want to eat anything too sticky, such as taffy, or too crunchy, such a CornNuts. If you eat apples or carrots, cut them up into bite size pieces. Finally, chewing hard candy and gum is not allowed. If you are a teen who smokes, you will need to stop. Firstly because of the obvious health benefits of doing so and, secondly, because smoking discolors the teeth, but not the place where the bracket is. When the braces are removed, you could see little white squares on your teeth where the brackets were and yellowing where the brackets were not.

A little care will go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy.

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