Many children and adolescents will need braces either to fix a structural issue with their teeth or for aesthetic purposes and knowing how to keep braces clean is an important part of ensuring these orthodontics are successful. We regularly see patients for the installation and removal of braces for kids in Las Vegas, and aftercare can be one of the most difficult aspects of their new orthodontics to come to terms with. It doesn’t have to be! With the help of some mindfulness and a few good habits, you can keep your braces and teeth clean and sparkling.
Braces are meant to straighten and correct the alignment of your teeth, but without proper care, they can endanger your child’s oral health and your bank account. While your child may be a pro at regular brushing, they may not know how to keep their braces clean and free of debris. The hardware creates different angles than they’re used to cleaning and, initially, there can be some discomfort that causes the most steadfast brusher to let their hygiene habits slip.
The good news for kids with braces in Las Vegas is that properly maintaining their hardware and overall oral health doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, as a parent, you’ve already been through this process once before. As it was when you first taught your children good oral hygiene, the best way to keep braces clean is to develop good habits and routines.
1. Explain Necessary Lifestyle Changes
This is the basis for forming a successful routine. Your child should be fully informed of how their lifestyle needs to change for their braces to pay off. This means avoiding problem foods, like chips, popcorn, and nuts, conscientiously brushing after every meal or snack, and maintaining the best conditions for their braces. It will require focus, attention, and acceptance that there will be missteps, but it’s vital to get back to their new routine and stick to it. If you want to know how to keep braces clean the easy way, start by limiting the potential for food-based complications.
2. Show Them How to Brush Properly
Make sure your children are using the right toothbrush. A standard flat brush may not provide the angles or reach your child needs. Consider an electric toothbrush, as the vibrations can sometimes clean hardware better and faster. Your child should angle their toothbrush downward at a 45-degree angle as they brush their hardware from the top down.
Repeat the brushing with the bristles facing directly at their teeth, then at a 45-degree upward angle, and that will give them complete coverage of their orthodontia. Brush the outside of the teeth from the gums toward the biting edge of your teeth, and finally, do the same for the inside of the teeth. After a quick rinse, they’re done brushing and ready for the next step.
3. Know That Flossing Is More Important Than Ever
Let’s be clear: flossing is important, period. With orthodontics, however, flossing is a necessary part of how to keep braces clean. Food particulate can easily become trapped between teeth, and as the alignment of your teeth changes, some cracks and crevices may harbor more debris than your child is used to. Dental floss or soft picks can be a great way to get the small spaces between teeth and around your child’s hardware.
When flossing, make sure to get all the gaps both over and under the wire. A dental threader can be a valuable tool in helping get the floss under the wire so you can get down to the base of the teeth. Particulate left behind can damage tooth enamel, potentially leading to decay and more expensive dental care.
4. Mouthwash Is About More Than Minty-Fresh Breath
When your child first gets their braces, these oral hygiene changes can be challenging to remember. A good, germ-killing mouthwash with fluoride acts as a safety net, killing germs and helping rinse away additional food particles that can lead to bacteria or tooth decay. It may also help sore mouths and jaws feel better.
If your child’s jaw and tooth pain is excessive, before using regular mouth washing, flossing, or brushing, have them pre-rinse their mouth with warm salt water, gargling it in the back of their throat. It isn’t part of how to keep braces clean on its own as it doesn’t replace their normal mouthwash, but it can ease pain and discomfort, making their new routine more manageable.
Give Your Child a Brilliant New Smile.
These quick, easy care tips can help your child get the most out of their orthodontic hardware. In addition to these tips, your dentist or orthodontist will talk to you before and after the procedure about proper care, cleaning, and upkeep of the hardware and your child’s oral health while they have braces. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you don’t understand. Everyone’s goal is to create the best possible smile for your child.
With ten convenient locations, we’re always nearby to offer braces for kids in Las Vegas in our comfortable, kid-friendly offices. We specialize in children’s dentistry because we want every child to have a head start on great oral health. Contact us today if you have any questions about how to keep braces clean or to schedule your child’s next appointment.