Summer is nearly over, and most parents are gearing up for their children’s return to school. Orthodontic health should not be overlooked among the many concerns that parents have, such as supplies and clothing. If your child has braces, you should take precautions to ensure that their treatment goes smoothly and that their teeth stay healthy.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing are important habits to instill in your children. According to the 22 rule, you should brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. According to the American Dental Association, children and adults should brush their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The toothbrush should be shaped and sized to fit the child’s mouth while still allowing access to all corners and crevices.
Brush bristles should be replaced every 3-4 months or when they become weak or worn out.
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is recommended.
To effectively clean their teeth, teach your children to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently move it back and forth in short strokes. Brushing the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces should be done on a regular basis.
If your child consumes sugary or starchy foods at lunch, have them bring a tooth brush and paste to clean their teeth afterwards. Food debris can severely damage teeth and stain braces.
Teach your child the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day.
Check to see if your child has a water bottle at school. Water keeps the body hydrated and aids in metabolic processes. Water can also be used to replace sugary drinks, which many children are tempted to drink to quench their thirst. Water contains fluoride, which is required for cavity prevention. Most importantly, drinking water regularly will assist your child in cleaning out food debris in the mouth and diluting the acids produced by mouth bacteria.
Always have extra rubber bands on hand.
Rubber bands are required to align the jaws of children wearing braces. Rubber bands, which are attached to the brackets, aid in tooth and jaw adjustment. They straighten the child’s teeth and cut the treatment time in half. Because rubber bands are necessary for children who wear braces, have them bring an extra pair to school and, even better, keep some in their school locker in case of emergency.
Continue a Healthy Diet
The saying “you are what you eat” implies that the foods and beverages you consume have an impact on your overall health. Sugary foods and beverages are bad for your teeth and can cause your braces to discolor. If your child consumes these sugary foods, have them rinse the sugars and debris away with water. Bacteria in the mouth consume sugars and produce acid, which destroys teeth, promotes cavities, and, in severe cases, can cause decay.
Make healthy snacks for your children. Milk shakes, raw vegetables, grains, fruits, and eggs are examples of these. Children with braces should eat soft foods like spaghetti. Bananas are well-known for their high potassium and fiber content. These nutrients are beneficial to the heart and bones. Make sure your child eats healthy foods at school if it has a cafeteria.
One thing to consider as you prepare to send your children back to school is their oral health. Caring for and nurturing your child’s teeth will pay dividends later in life when he or she has healthy and bright smiles. If you require additional advice or instruction on proper dental care procedures, please contact our office; we will gladly assist you.