How to Care for Dental Braces
Unfortunately, many of us are not born with a perfect smile. In fact, braces are a part of life for most kids growing up. Braces help to fix teeth that are crooked, crowded, or gapped. They are also an effective treatment for underbites and overbites.
Proper care and maintenance is an important part of undergoing treatment with braces. Proper maintenance can make your experience with braces more comfortable, quick, and effective. At Neu Family Dental, we know that some children may have a hard time caring for their braces. The following information is designed to help your child with proper care and maintenance.
Foods to Avoid
There are certain foods your child should avoid to prevent damage to their braces. Dr. Neu will give you a list before you leave our office. As a general rule, if it’s sticky or chewy, it’s best to avoid it. For example, caramels and other candies may pull on the wires or brackets, which can cause significant damage. Hard or crunchy foods can also cause issues. For instance, popcorn kernels can get caught in the braces and cause them to snap.
Poor oral habits should also be avoided. If you bite your nails or chew on pen caps, you can damage your wires and brackets fairly easily. Even chewing on ice can create problems.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
If food particles do get stuck in the wires and brackets, it can create problems with cavities and gum disease later down the road. The bacteria in plaque can easily get trapped inside and around the braces. For these reasons and more, be sure that your child is careful cleaning their braces. First and foremost, make sure they are properly brushing their teeth. They should take off any elastics and removable appliances before they clean. Then, they should brush at a 45-degree angle to get around the wires and brackets. It is also important to be gentle with the brush to avoid damaging the braces.
Flossing may present difficult problems, but they should do it once a day. Dr. Neu or our dental hygienist can show your child the best way to floss with braces. We may recommend a special appliance that will help thread the floss. Remember that too much force when flossing may also cause damage.
Troubles With Braces
During the time your child is wearing braces, you will need to schedule regular appointments. During the appointment, we will check for any issues, make adjustments, and discuss any discomfort or pain. After adjustments, your child may experience some discomfort. This should dissipate within a few days. If it does not, you should schedule another appointment with us as soon as possible.
If you experience any troubles in between appointments, do not attempt to fix anything on your own. Please schedule an appointment if a bracket or wire comes loose so that we can fix it. Be extra careful with broken wires. A broken wire is easy to swallow and may damage the inside of your child’s cheek.
Schedule an Appointment
If your child is experiencing any problems with their braces, call (847) 230-9143, and schedule an appointment now!