Knowing proper oral hygiene techniques is always worthwhile, but it is particularly important for people with braces. When children or teens with braces forego basic dental hygiene, they are more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, discoloration, decalcification and staining of the teeth. Since millions of children and teens currently have braces or will have braces, knowing how to take care of teeth during orthodontic treatment is essential to maintaining overall health and well-being. Gainesville orthodontist Dr. Mullally and the staff at Studio32 Orthodontics offer these easy-to-follow tips to help kids and teens improve and maintain oral hygiene.
Oral Hygiene Tips For Kids With Braces
The top complaint orthodontists receive from parents of kids with braces is that their children don’t keep their teeth clean. These tips for oral hygiene can help parents ensure their investment in braces for kids pays off.
Implement a Schedule
The first step in helping your child improve and maintain oral hygiene while wearing braces is to create a schedule. Just as you would program a music lesson or tutoring session for your child, set aside some time to help kids floss and brush their teeth every day.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun
Many kids put off brushing and flossing their teeth because they find it boring. Motivate them with plaque-disclosing solutions or tablets that highlight plaque and buildup on teeth in different colors. Once children are able to see the plaque for themselves, they will know their brushing techniques need improvement.
Introduce a Light-Up Mirror
A portable, light-up mirror makes it easier for children to see exactly what they are doing when brushing their teeth. Have your child brush and floss while looking in the mirror each night to maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing braces.
Advise Brushing With & Without Toothpaste
Contrary to popular belief, a good way to remove plaque on teeth is by using just a toothbrush and water. While toothpaste freshens breath and provides fluoride, it can get in the way of removing surface plaque. Have children brush with only a toothbrush and water first to remove plaque and then proceed to brushing with toothpaste.
Oral Hygiene For Teens With Braces
Teenagers often have busy schedules. Spending so much time in school, extracurricular activities and hanging out with friends, it’s easy for them to forget about oral hygiene. These tips for teens with braces in Gainesville can help make daily dental maintenance a breeze.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Teens bored with traditional plaque-removal tools can leverage the benefits of technology to improve and maintain their dental health with oral irrigation. Also called a water pick, this is a convenient tool that power-washes teeth to dislodge food particles and plaque clinging to spots between braces and teeth.
Help Hygiene Fit Your Schedule
For teens with braces in Gainesville, it’s not always convenient to lug around their at-home toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. However, for on-the-go dental care, it’s a good idea to have a small kit with a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, and a mirror on hand to use after meals. With a compact kit, you’ll have all the tools you need to keep your mouth clean without carrying excess stuff.
Gargle With Clean Water Regularly
If you forget your portable oral hygiene kit, gargling with water after meals is a useful alternative to brushing. While brushing and flossing at least twice per day is essential to the health of your teeth and functionality of your braces, gargling water can help to remove food particles in the meantime.
Visit Your Gainesville Orthodontist Regularly
Scheduling regular appointments with an orthodontist in Gainesville at Studio32 Orthodontics is a great way to reinforce effective oral care tips. Dr. Mullally and her staff work with each patient to create a custom treatment plan and are always available to answer questions and address concerns that may arise. Whether your child need braces or your teen is considering Invisalign in Gainesville, contact Studio32 Orthodontics for the best orthodontic care in town!