First-Time Brace Wearer's Tooth Care Tips

When your child first has their braces put on, learning to care for their teeth again can be challenging. To make things easier, you need to take an active approach to tooth brushing and other care. Here are a few tips that will help him or her take care of their teeth around the new orthodontic devices.

Buy A Soft Toothbrush

One of the first things you need to do when your child gets braces is to buy him or her a soft toothbrush. The soft bristles are important for reaching the spaces between the braces and the gums because they won't irritate the gums. Toothbrushes with medium and hard bristles are known for irritating the gums, so ditch them right away.

Consider an electric toothbrush. While it's easy enough to get teeth clean with a manual toothbrush, an electric one can sometimes reach those crevices around the braces more easily. In addition, the spinning brush heads have enough vibration to deal with the plaque and particles more efficiently and effectively.

Change The Brushing Routine

Teach your child to start each brushing period with a wet toothbrush first. Brushing the teeth with a wet brush and no toothpaste first will help to clear plaque away from the edges of the braces without the abrasive material from the toothpaste. That way, when he or she does add toothpaste to clean the teeth, it's on there for a shorter period of time, which results in less abrasion. This reduces the risk of scratching the braces or causing other damage.

Set a timer and make sure that your child is spending at least two full minutes brushing. Especially with braces, this timing is important for ensuring that the edges around the braces are clean. Finally, encourage your child to skip the mouth rinse after brushing at night so that the fluoride and other ingredients can rest on the tooth surface to help protect them overnight.

Keep Up With Routine Visits

Make sure your child knows that even though you're visiting the orthodontist regularly, that doesn't eliminate the need for routine cleanings at the dentist. These cleanings are important for minimizing the risk of cavities and other problems. 

With these tips, you can help your child take care of his or her teeth after the application of braces. Don't let the added orthodontic devices affect your child's oral health. Talk with them about these tips and ask an orthodontist, such as Russell M Morrell DMD, about other advice.