Summer is almost over and the temperatures have calmed down. It is the season for sporting, and most of all its time for children to go back to school. Parents tend to get caught up with school uniform, books, school fees, and other essentials for bracing their kids to resume learning but they tend to forget about oral health. Indeed, your child’s teeth are as crucial as their overall health. Dr. RJ Jackson your Austin Orthodontist, has the best oral practices for kids with braces as you prepare for them to go back to school.
Oral Hygiene Routine
A part of maintaining healthy teeth is following the 2×2 brushing concept. This means you need to train your kids to brush twice a day and for two minutes each time. Brushing at lunch time is advisable since food debris tends to get trapped in the teeth and encourages the formation of plaque. This is one of the reasons your child should carry a braces care kit. Apart from keeping up with oral hygiene, the braces kit also keeps your child prepared for situations that arise from wearing braces. The braces care kit should have the following:
- Dental wax
- Dental floss
- Lip balm
Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss will be handy for brushing after lunch. Dental wax will help if your child’s braces irritate their gums, cheeks, or lips. Wax reduces irritation whereas lip balm helps to moisten dry lips caused by wearing braces.
Carry a Water Bottle
Experts advise people to take 2 ½ liters of water every day. Water is not only refreshing it also supports many body processes. Drinking water is also necessary for ensuring you are hydrated. It also keeps the mouth clean, and fights decay and cavities. Drinking lots of water will also prevent your kid from taking sugary drinks to quench their thirst. These sugary drinks stain the teeth which result in white spots on the brackets. If your kid should drink sugary drinks or soda, then they should take it with a straw to prevent contact with the teeth.
Carry Extra Rubber Bands
Ensure you child carries an extra pack of rubber bands to school. If they have a locker, ask them to lock in extra rubber bands for emergencies. Elastics are important for moving the teeth and result in shorter treatment times. Since rubber bands wear out and loose elasticity in a short time, it is advisable to keep an extra set. Ask an Austin Orthodontist when and how often your child should replace rubber bands.
Watch Your Diet
Your diet is an important part of oral health. Chewy, hard, and crunchy foods are likely to damage your braces. Furthermore, sugary foods increase your chances of getting cavities and decay. Make teeth-friendly foods for your kids. These include foods like yogurt, eggs, fruit smoothies, cooked vegetables, and soft foods like spaghetti, lean meat, and macaroni and cheese. Bananas are also recommended for high fiber and potassium to keep the bones strong and for a healthy heart. If your child must take hard fruits like apples and pears, slice them into small pieces and instruct them to chew using their back teeth. Biting hard fruits directly is strongly discouraged because it can cause damage to braces.
As you plan to take your child back to school, remember not to neglect their oral health needs. Kids with braces need to pay more attention to their teeth. Apart from ensuring your kids brush their teeth 2-3 times a day, practices such as flossing should be encouraged. They should also carry a brace care kit for emergency situations. Braces are sensitive to foods and can easily get damaged; therefore, you should ensure your child eats the right foods. For more advice and for any queries about your child’s oral health as you prepare to take them back to school, feel free to contact our Austin Orthodontics practice. We’re always here to help!