Spring is just beginning, but summer camp and vacations are right around the corner. Being on their own, your children will need to take care of themselves. Building good habits at home will prepare your child to adequately maintain their oral health while their away. Below are a few quick and effective routines and tips to review your child:
Teach your child about food options
Teaching your children which types of foods impact braces will help them know the best food options when it comes time to choose for themselves in the dining hall. There are two categories of foods of which your child should be mindful: those that require special attention before eating and those that are best avoided when wearing braces.
Foods that require special atttention: Cut these foods up into smaller pieces so they are easier to chew. Some foods, like bread and spaghetti, wrap around the wire and teeth, while others, such as meat and apples, can get stuck between wires and teeth.
- Raw carrots and apples.
- Soft bread
Foods to avoid: These foods, often favorites for children, can potentially damage braces, to the point of requiring an orthodontist for repair. Nuts, popcorn, and chips can move the positioning of the wires, potentially altering the shape of braces and hindering proper development of your children’s teeth.
Brushing above, below, and around braces
Brushing your teeth should consist of a two minute session broken up into three parts: top of the braces, underneath the braces, and then a sweep of the front and back of the teeth. At a 45 degree downward angle, brush the area of the tooth just above the band and brackets to remove plaque. Make sure to use small, circular motions throughout.
Repeat the same steps for the bottom of the bands and brackets, except brush 45 degrees at an upward angle. Again, use the small, circular motions to get as much of the area as possible. Finally, brush all teeth with the circular motion. Make sure to get the back of the teeth and the molars.
Proxy brush to get hard to reach areas
A proxy brush can be used to reach the areas of the teeth inaccessible to a normal toothbrush. Talk to Dr. Togias if you would like more information on proxy brush options based on your child’s treatment.
Floss after brushing
An orthodontic flosser is a specially-designed floss pick that can help remove foods from hard to reach areas of the mouth and orthodontic appliances. They are available at your local convenience store.