OFFICE LOCATION
1007 R.R. 620 S. Suite 201 | Austin TX

OFFICE LOCATION
1007 R.R. 620 S. Suite 201
Austin TX 78734

How to Clean and Care for Your Teeth with Braces

Having your kids brush their teeth is super important and even more critical with braces. But sometimes dental braces make brushing difficult because food particles and plaque can stick to the brackets and teeth. That’s why good oral hygiene should start early and set the stage for a healthy mouth into adulthood.

The problem is, having braces isn’t exactly fun. So, to help, your friends at Lakeway Orthodontics have come up with a few ways to keep oral hygiene engaging, fun, but most importantly thorough! Not to mention – cool tips on how to maximize your child’s smile.

Remember!  Our patients receive rewards points for having regular cleanings up to 75 points!

Swish, Swish, Swish (Rinsing)

Dr. Jeff Dykes recommends instructing your child to rinse with water after eating. This will loosen food that may be caught in the braces. This is especially helpful to clear the mouth before brushing.

If your child is having trouble cleaning the areas near brackets and wires, there are some special tools that may help. One is the interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush. It has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around, like a pipe cleaner. Use it gently and carefully to clean the tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets. This can remove particles that that the bristles from a traditional toothbrush can’t reach.

Fun tip: Make teeth brushing time a part of a story

Moms, While your kids might find brushing their teeth boring by itself, if you make it part of a bigger story, they might find it more fun. Example: tell them they’re helping Batman fight the rise of plaque in Gotham or in order to see the mystic magician they must first brush their teeth. This gives it more context for them and even makes it a little more fun!

Don’t rush the brush!

Countdown: 2 minutes

When they’re ready to brush, start them off brushing at the gum line at a 45-degree angle. After brushing the gum line, they should place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket.

Next, reposition the toothbrush to brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up. Be sure they go slowly and brush for a full two minutes! Dr. Jeff Dykes recommends they should brush every tooth at the gumline as well as above and below the brackets. This will ensure they reach the majority of the tooth’s surface and help to remove plaque and food debris.

Even kids who are old enough to brush on their own may require help until they are comfortable properly angling the toothbrush and have learned how to brush their teeth with braces. Be sure to replace the toothbrush after every cleaning as well!

Fun tip: USE AN APP

There are apps that have been created that make teeth brushing more fun. Some of the apps play songs that encourage teeth brushing, but also have a built-in timer so that moms know their kids are brushing for a full two minutes. They can even collect points when they complete a task. This will show kids their progress and make them take pride in their oral health.

Check out this free app that allows kids to collect their favorite Disney or Marvel characters every time their brush for the correct amount of time.

Floss Like a Boss

Flossing is a crucial step toward keeping teeth healthy and should be done at least once per day. But how do you get floss under the archwire of your braces? Use a floss threader to make flossing with braces easier. Using a floss threader is somewhat like threading a needle: You pull one end of floss through the threader, and then push the threader — carrying with it the free end of the floss — under the archwire. Parents, guide your child on how to grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, and all the way under the gums until they hear a squeaky sound. Finally, pull it out and use a new section of floss for the next area.

Want bonus rewards points? Watch our Snapchat for Rewards for Flashing your Floss and Brushing like a Boss weekly giveaways!

Taking care of teeth with braces requires diligence. Kids in braces don’t always have the discipline they need to care for their teeth, so Moms they need your help! It’s important to encourage and help with tooth care. Be sure to visit your pediatric/family dentist every three months for cleanings and checkups and consult with Dr. Jeff Dykes if you have any specific orthodontic concerns about your child.  

Call us at 512-263-2993 today to schedule your complimentary consultation.