Summer is over, and most parents are preparing their children for the return to school. Among the many concerns that parents have, such as supplies and clothing, orthodontic health should not be overlooked. If your child is wearing braces, you should take precautions to ensure that their treatment goes smoothly and their teeth remain healthy.
Here are some starting points for you.
Keep Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing are important habits for your children to develop. The 22 rule states that you should brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. Brush your teeth twice a day, children and adults, with a soft-bristled toothbrush, according to the American Dental Association. The toothbrush should be shaped and sized to fit the child’s mouth and provide access to all corners and crevices.
Replace toothbrush bristles every 3-4 months or when they become weak or worn out.
It is advised to brush with fluoride toothpaste.
Teach your children to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently move it back and forth in short strokes to effectively clean their teeth. Brushing the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces should be practiced.
If your child eats sugary or starchy foods at lunch, have them bring a tooth brush and paste with them to clean their teeth afterward. Food debris can cause severe tooth damage and stain braces.
Teach your child the importance of drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Make sure your child has a water bottle at school. Water hydrates the body and aids in metabolic processes. Water can also be used to replace sugary drinks, which children are frequently tempted to consume in order to quench their thirst. Fluoride, which is necessary for cavity prevention, is also found in water. Most importantly, drinking water on a regular basis will help your child clean out food debris in the mouth and dilute the acids produced by mouth bacteria.
Keep extra rubber bands on hand.
Rubber bands are required for children wearing braces to align their jaws. Rubber bands are attached to the brackets and help with tooth and jaw adjustment. They straighten the child’s teeth and shorten the treatment period. Because rubber bands are essential for children who wear braces, have them bring an extra pair to school and, even better, keep some in their school locker for emergencies.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
The adage “you are what you eat” implies that the foods and beverages you consume influence your overall health. Sugary foods and beverages are bad for your teeth and can discolor your braces. If your child eats these sugary foods, have them wash away the sugars and debris with water. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid, which destroys teeth, promotes cavities, and can cause decay in severe cases.
Make nutritious snacks for your children. These include milk shakes, raw vegetables, grains, fruits, and eggs. Children who wear braces should eat soft foods such as spaghetti. Bananas are well-known for being high in potassium and fiber. These nutrients are good for the heart and bones. If your child’s school has a cafeteria, make sure they eat healthy foods.
One of the things you should think about as you prepare to send your children back to school is their oral health. Caring for and nurturing your child’s teeth will pay off later in life when they have healthy and bright smiles. Please contact our office if you require additional advice or instruction on proper dental care procedures; we will gladly assist you.