All children have different reactions to getting braces, and very few of them are positive. Maybe the very few have seen the James Bond movies with the villain Jaws and are excited about scaring others, but for the rest, the level of enthusiasm is at a minimum.
It was already a hassle to make them go to the orthodontist’s office, but now that they’re home and their teeth reflect in the light, how can you make sure your children are taking care of them?
As a parent, you know that braces are expensive and insurance may not cover the whole cost. You don’t want them to go breaking brackets or wires, only bumping up the cost even more.
Follow these easy steps so that you can rest easy knowing your child’s smile is going to turn out alright soon enough.
Take All Sugary Foods Out
The easiest way to avoid temptation is to simply not have temptation in front of you. Even though you may be gearing up for fall sweets, sugary foods are going to put a strain on your child’s dental health.
The more sugar they eat, the more likely they are to get cavities. Brushing teeth is already a hard enough task when it comes to braces, and they’ll need to be extra careful about everything they’re eating. A cavity could set braces care back by quite a bit if left unchecked.
Speaking of brushing their teeth…
Change the Brushing Game
When children first “brush” their teeth or “take” a shower, minimal effort is put in. A quick runover with the toothbrush overflowing with toothpaste could be considered adequate while showering for anything more than five seconds is an eternity.
Brushing their teeth is now going to be doubly important, mainly because it’s going to take a bit longer. Getting in between all of those hard to reach spots takes a bit of effort.
It might be time to buy a new toothbrush too, so find one with a small head and set a timer. The normal amount is two minutes, but try to make them brush for two and a half or three. Better than a timer, find a song that is about that long and make them listen.
Carry Some Floss and a Toothbrush
There’s going to be plenty of time when you’re out to eat and some food gets stuck in a wire or braces with no easy way to get it out. You don’t want your child walking around with constant lettuce teeth, so make sure and have a pack of floss.
A toothbrush may not always be an option, but floss can help get anything out of those tight spaces. Just try not to embarrass them too much.
Buy Some Wax
Wax is a great substance that can cover the fronts of the braces so it’s not irritating the inside of your child’s mouth. Plenty of parents have found out the hard way that braces can really cut up the inside of a lip.
Wax is quite easy to insert on the brackets and is a smooth substance that can help protect chafing and scratching.
Be Mindful of What They Eat
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, there are plenty of other foods you should be avoiding. They should avoid extra hard foods as well as chewy foods. Putting too much pressure on the brackets will cause them to crack and fall off.
Be sure they avoid food you have to put force to bite into, like corn on the cob or carrots. You’ll also want to avoid overly crunchy food, like popcorn or evening ice.
Maybe you can start whipping up a great soup recipe or start mixing smoothies.
Ask the Orthodontist all the Questions
While browsing the internet for advice is a great example or proper research, make sure you’re writing down any other questions for your orthodontist, even if it seems silly.
They can help recommend the best toothbrush, maybe a book with braces-friendly recipes, and what else you can be doing for oral health. If you’re in Houston, look for an orthodontist with extensive braces knowledge and one that has experience with children. Getting braces can be a bit scary and more embarrassing, even for the bravest of children.
Don’t be shy about peppering them with questions, so you don’t miss a beat.