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Celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month With Braces Care Tips

Did you know February is Children’s Dental Health Month? And 2024 marks the 75th Children’s Dental Health Month. This annual event is a way to advocate for pediatric dental and orthodontic care, educating people about the importance of simple dental hygiene.

We love educating and helping people achieve their dream million-dollar smile. There’s something so satisfying about seeing someone’s confidence, body language, and demeanor change upon their first glance at their new smile. There is nothing like being a part of someone’s smile journey.

Children's Dental Health Month With Braces Care Tips
(prostooleh/Freepik)

Dental Hygiene With Braces

Today, we’re going to focus on all things braces. Once you or your child gets their braces on, brushing and flossing the teeth and maintaining your dental hygiene can feel overwhelming. You have to work a little harder and change your routine when you have those little wires and brackets in the way. You may get tempted to become relaxed and not deal with brushing or flossing with your braces. However, brushing and flossing with braces is even more critical because of all those pesky food particles trapped between the wires and brackets.

Types Of Braces

Did you know there’s not just one type of braces? We live in such an incredible age where dentistry and orthodontics are advanced. We’ve come up with many different ways to achieve straight teeth, each with its own benefits to align with different lifestyles and budgets.

• Traditional Braces

The OG method for straight teeth. The one we all know and love but also hate as we reminisce on being called “brace face” in Jr. High School. It was a right of passage for many of us before Invisalign entered the chat and became as common ground as braces. They consist of brackets and archwires and gently apply pressure to the teeth to gradually move them into their desired position.

• Ceramic Braces

Cousin to the OG braces, ceramic braces are a discreet and aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal braces. They have brackets and wires and work in the same way as traditional braces but are minimally visible for a more discrete option.

• Damon Braces

Damon braces are another innovative alternative to conventional braces. They don’t have elastic bands to hold wires in place like traditional braces. Instead, they have a self-ligating mechanism and lay flatter on the teeth.

Self-Ligating Braces

Like Damon braces, self-ligating braces are an innovative alternative to conventional braces that don’t require elastic ties to hold the archway in place. They use a specialized mechanism to secure the wire in place.

Tips For Flossing With Braces

Flossing is hard to make a habit, even for many who don’t have braces. Flossing is quick and easy to do daily, and making it a part of your daily routine will pay dividends in the long run. You could even floss while watching Netflix. Do whatever you’ve got to do to make the habit stick.

Getting braces on is not a “get out of jail free card” for flossing. You should floss diligently with braces. And even though it may be more difficult to floss with braces in the way, some tools and methods could help.

• Floss For Your Child

If your child is the type who won’t do it on their own, consider flossing for them daily, especially if they are very young and have a hard time flossing with their braces. Have them sit down and floss around each tooth and each bracket.

• Use Waxed Floss

Waxed floss is excellent for braces because there’s less chance of it catching and tearing on the brackets and wires. Be cautious and take your time while you floss.

• Consider Floss Threaders

Floss threaders are great tools for braces. A floss threader is a rigid yet flexible piece of plastic that helps pass dental floss around orthodontic wires. They resemble large needles and help to make flossing with braces easier.

• Splurge on a Water Flosser

When traditional flossing sparks too much frustration with braces, water flossers are a great alternative. They use pressurized streams of water to blast debris and food particles from between your teeth. These are great for braces, but we don’t recommend replacing your flossing with water flossing long-term.

Tips For Brushing With Braces

Before globbing on the toothpaste and setting that handy-dandy two-minute timer, ensure your child removes any rubber bands or other removable orthodontic materials from their mouth that could get in the way of brushing.

Once they clear their mouth of all those little rubber bands or any other removable accessories, remind them to clean around each bracket at a 45-degree angle using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing in firm but gentle circular motions, brush from the top of each wire down, and be thorough.

You could also invest in a single-tufted interdental toothbrush to reach all those tight spaces. Once your child gets a thorough brush, have them rinse with water to get any remaining particles. You could even make a song out of “rinse, rinse, spit” to help them remember this step of the routine if they ever have to brush without you there. Then, it’s time to re-insert their rubber bands and enjoy their clean mouth…until the next meal.

Make a conscious decision to floss daily, and it will become second nature. By putting our tips for braces care into action, you will help instill good habits in your child, which will lead to that million-dollar smile and newfound confidence. Remember that the braces phase won’t last forever and will be worth every sacrifice and penny.

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