Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

How To Keep Children’s Teeth Clean With Braces

by Dr. Steven Whittemore | Published December 18, 2018

Braces are an expensive, but rewarding process that results in a healthy and beautiful smile for your child. Among the many other things kids must get used to in the 12+ months they wear braces, making sure their teeth are clean and free of any food particles is extremely important. Taking measures to keep their teeth clean will prevent them from falling victim to tooth decay, staining of teeth from where the braces were, or other complications. Here are some tips on how to make sure their teeth look great when their braces come off.

Keep an Eye on Their Diet

Getting in the habit of cutting specific foods out of their routine that can help their teeth and braces from potential decay. Sticky foods such as candy, gum, caramels, etc. can adhere to the metal, making it difficult to clean off and harmful if it is left there.

Find the Right Toothbrush to Get the Job Done

Chances are, the toothbrush that was being used before braces will no longer suffice. Using a soft-bristled brush can help clean teeth while refraining from wearing down the metal or gums. Another potential option is investing in an electric toothbrush. While on the more expensive side, these toothbrushes do a great job of eliminating plaque in hard to reach spots, with little effort necessary by the user.

Additionally, be sure to change out their toothbrush or toothbrush head regularly to ensure they are always using durable, clean bristles on their teeth. Worn bristles carry unwanted bacteria and sometimes become too worn down to work effectively.

Brush and Brush Often

According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended to brush teeth twice daily (typically morning and night) and even after each meal if possible. If your child is not able to brush their teeth after a meal, encourage them to rinse their mouth with water to remove any lingering pieces of food. At a 45 degree angle, brush each tooth at the gumline as well as above and below the brackets to try to cover as much of the tooth area as possible.

Make Flossing a Critical Part of the Cleaning Routine

Flossing is something that can easily get overlooked, but while wearing braces, it is imperative. Every time your child eats while wearing braces, food particles get easily wedged in between their teeth and wires. Try getting them to floss at least once at the end of the night, and even floss after each time they eat to remove any larger pieces of food.

Use regular floss to go in between teeth as a person normally would without braces, and for the harder to reach areas, use tools such as floss threaders or floss picks. These cleaning items have thicker threads and sharp plastic tips to help remove any food items.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Cleaning and Check-Up

Annual dental check-ups are always important, but even more so if your child currently has braces. Our dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa will conduct a thorough exam of your child’s teeth to ensure they are remaining clean and healthy and will alert you of any issues that would require you to meet with your orthodontist. If your child is a first-time patient, please complete our new patient consent form before heading into your appointment. We look forward to seeing you!