Caring for braces
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Caring for braces

Wires and brackets and bands, oh my! Here’s your guide to navigating braces.

Braces are exciting and overwhelming.  On one hand, your child’s on their way to perfectly straight teeth. On the other, they’ve got a mouth full of metal that needs special care.

Proper care involves some practice and adds extra time to their routine. But, it’s crucial if they want to complete their treatment on time. Here are 3 tips to help your child care for their braces:

Don’t take shortcuts. Wearing braces makes it easier to get cavities and swollen gums. Remind kids to:

  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush so they don’t harm wires or brackets
  • Brush more often because braces trap food and plaque around their teeth
  • Floss daily with a threader to remove the “gunk” from between their teeth and under wires (your orthodontist will show them how)
  • Keep bands on—except during meals and snacks

Break bad habits. Common reasons for loose or broken brackets include fingernail biting, chewing on pencils or pens and eating sticky foods. The more kids damage their braces, the longer they have to wear them. Help your children break bad habits and their smile will benefit.

Eat soft and small. Hard foods are tough on braces. Remind kids to cut them into bite-sized pieces. Sticky sweets, like caramel, can damage wires and brackets. Opt for softer sweets like chocolate.

Wear a mouthguard during sports. This helps prevent injuries to their teeth, lips, tongue and cheeks.

Follow these tips, and a brace free smile is in your kid’s future!

Want info to share with your tween or teen? Check out Surviving Braces or print our Ultimate Braces Style Guide.

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