Getting braces is a big lifelong investment for your kid’s smile and if you don’t know what you are in for, then you’re in trouble.

Not only will you have to keep an eye out for your kid’s oral hygiene habits, but they will have to stay on top of keeping their mouth clean after every meal. It isn’t as overwhelming as you may think.

Looking for a complete guide on how to live with metal in your mouth? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how to take care of braces, for you or your child.

How to Maintain Braces

Typically after initially getting braces, you want to make sure you’re child is taking extra good care of their oral hygiene. Braces can make things tricky when it comes to getting all of the food out of your teeth in the first go after a meal.

When you’ve made it through the first week, it is important that your child makes it to every scheduled orthodontist appointment in order to stay on try with their progress. The adjustments the doctor makes are essential to reaching the desired goal, whether that be fixing an overbite or turning crooked teeth.

This will help ensure that your child gets their braces removed on time and that they’re able to be transitioned into using a retainer.

What Can Your Child Eat?

When braces are initially put on, your kid’s mouth is most likely going to be sore for a few days afterward. This is because their teeth will be adjusting to the positioning of the braces and helping correct any issues like overcrowding or misaligned teeth.

The first week is the worst when it comes to discomfort levels, however that fades fairly quickly.

During that period of time, sticking to soft foods will be the best bet to avoid any additional discomfort. This means foods like pudding, ice cream, pasta, soup, and even mashed potatoes.

Foods to Avoid With Braces:

  • Crunchy food (cereal, apples, popcorn)
  • Sticky food (gum, caramel, gummies)
  • Chewy food (granola bars, bagels)

Although that doesn’t cover every food, it should help you choose wisely when picking your child’s snacks and meals. Sticking to this food list after any maintenance tightening appointments will also help avoid any discomfort.

Snacks like apples and popcorn can be very tough on braces and can even get caught underneath wires. This can cause serious irritation to your gums and teeth overall. Sticky food can throw off the effectiveness of braces by breaking brackets and wires.

How to Clean Braces

Cleaning braces can be a challenging process when you first start. Making sure your child has all of the right tools will set them up for success. This means having a soft bristle toothbrush, inter-ortho brushes, and floss picks. 

It is crucial to remind your child to brush their teeth each time they eat a meal or snack. The process of teaching them a routine with this is a big step toward them learning how to take care of braces on their own.

The soft bristle toothbrush will help you clean braces effectively without irritating their gums. It’s important that they stay on top of brushing their teeth like this to prevent stuck food from causing cavities over time.

A great tool that will help your child get to the hard-to-reach places is the inter-ortho brush. These are cone-shaped brushes that help clean in between the wires of braces and push food and gunk out.

After brushing their teeth and using the inter-ortho brush, then they should always use floss picks or a floss threader to really clean out the nooks and crannies. This is a good practice to keep their oral health strong for life.

As they practice using those simple parts of the cleaning routine, keep in mind that you are helping them build good habits for their future beyond braces as well.

Oral hygiene dictates a person’s total wellbeing, so taking action in preventing things like tooth decay and gum issues, will help your smile down the line.

How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

Making sure you brush your teeth the right way is so important to the health of your gums, and even can make a difference in how clean your teeth are at the end.

Always make sure your child holds their brush at a 45-degree angle facing against their gums in order to clean each tooth. This will allow the soft bristle brush to gently scrub away any buildup that happened after their last meal.

No need to use extreme force when brushing, and try to encourage them to rinse their mouth with water or mouth wash to disinfect the area. This helps clean those spots you can’t reach with the tools before moving on.

How to Take Care of Braces

With braces, being mindful goes a long way. Some children like to check on their fingernails or pencils, and this habit can be damaging to the process of correcting those issues. Always be vigilant of their actions and help guide them to ensure they will get the most out of it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that despite the struggle of discomfort, reminding them to listen to their orthodontist will only make the process that much smoother.

Your child’s orthodontist knows how uncomfortable braces can be, but wearing the elastic bands or headgear that will lead to the end result is only temporary. You just need to remember that your child needs encouragement to follow the instructions and doctor’s orders.

Visit Your Orthodontist

In the end, making sure you have the right doctor taking care of your child, and having a cleaning routine set will speak wonders to the success your child’s braces will have. The process may not always be pretty, but knowing how to take care of braces in advance will make the process that much easier. 

If you’re interested in learning more about braces, be sure to check out our blog for more information about oral care.