Tools That Help Kids Ace Their Braces Hygiene
We’re getting braces! What do we need for braces hygiene?
Oral hygiene gets a little more complicated after your child gets braces. Their teeth may be sensitive, and brushing can take longer than before. Not to mention, they are now required to do this new routine after every meal—snacks included. There are all kinds of new tools they have to deal with like wax and interdental brushes, not to mention the new techniques they need to learn. How can you help your child master this new, braces hygiene routine?
First Step, Shopping
To help your child prepare for this big change, try taking them shopping for supplies. Don’t worry, you can do this either online or in a physical store. Let your child pick a fun bag for all of the new tools they’ll need on the go, or even just to store them at home. Make getting their “braces kit” a fun event.
Your child will have to maintain their oral hygiene on the go, likely a lot more than they did before. This can be absolutely infuriating for a busy pre-teen or teenager. When shopping for new supplies, consider making a smaller travel kit for them. Add a foldable travel mirror, a few interdental brushes, and of course, lots of wax.
With the addition of braces, you may consider getting an electric toothbrush. Some are equipped with a sensitive mode that runs at a lower speed, perfect for those sensitive teeth and gums. It can be a lot easier to remove all of that stubborn plaque behind the wires with an electric toothbrush, but the job can still be done with a manual one.
Interdental brushes are made to fit into all those tiny, hard-to-reach places. They bend in all sorts of directions to ensure your child can reach between the brackets, and between each tooth. Be sure your child has one packed in the kit they take with them on the go, as they are perfect for getting all of those food bits out.
A lot of people suggest using floss instead, but interdental brushes are typically much more effective with the addition of bands and wires.
When choosing what size is best, don’t force it! If the brush is hard to get in the gap—go down a size. If you aren’t sure which size is best to use between the wires and teeth, have your child ask at their next appointment. We will gladly help with the troubleshooting.
Mirror, Mirror, in Your Hand
Never underestimate the power of a small, hand-held mirror. One of these will help your child find that pesky piece of food trapped somewhere in the back of their mouth. This is also a good addition to their travel kit!
Though you can use normal floss with braces, it is time-consuming and difficult. If possible, why not add something fun to the dental kit? WaterPik has an instructional video to help your child learn how to use their new water flosser. Using one of these makes the regular maintenance of your child’s teeth more enjoyable. The water will blast away both plaque and stubborn food bits from those hard-to-reach places. They also offer specific orthodontic tips made for getting every inch of those braces shiny and clean!
BraceMate is an app for both Android and Apple. Before your child’s next appointment, they can plan out what color bands they want at their next visit. It even has an option to send their patterns right to their dentist.
When your child is still learning how to maintain their teeth, there is a comprehensive guide within the app. Your child can have the app open on the bathroom counter while they go through all the steps.
The app also contains an emergency handbook, filled with a list of possible issues that could occur, and ways to overcome them.
A new routine can be complicated in general. To help, here is a full, in-depth night-time routine that they can follow. The girl even demonstrates how to use her water flosser.
To help master this new oral hygiene routine, consider making a colorful chart for your child to follow. You can make one that outlines the different steps they need to perform, or perhaps create one where they can check off each time they brush or floss their teeth.
If your child is not quite ready for braces, but you still need help nailing that oral hygiene routine, never fear, we’ve got you covered!
The addition of braces to your child’s life can be stressful. Their mouth is sensitive, and their mind is filled with all sorts of new rules and regulations around dental hygiene. Remember, we are always here to help by answering any questions you or your child may have about their new smile.