Brunette teen girl with braces smiles with healthy teeth that she keeps clean

Tips to Keep Kids’ Teeth Clean with Braces

January 24, 2020 8:00 am

It’s definitely harder for your child to keep their teeth clean with braces. Our team at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Laredo, TX, will show them how to properly brush and floss with braces but your support and guidance at home will go a long way to helping them maintain a good oral care routine throughout their orthodontic treatment.

Poor hygiene will only make the braces experience last longer because swollen gums delay movement of the teeth. Read on for some tips to help your child keep their teeth clean while wearing braces!

Encourage Proper Brushing Technique

Brushing is always important, but it’s extremely important with braces. A soft toothbrush with thinner bristles makes it easier to get in-between the brackets and wires. First, have your child gently brush back and forth between the wires and gums to dislodge any particles of food, flushing with water as necessary along the way. Their next step is to gently brush in a circular motion holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. They need enough pressure to make full contact with the brackets and teeth, but not aggressive pressure that can damage their enamel. Have your child start at the top or bottom and work all the way around, finishing up with a close look in the mirror to check for any food particles they might have missed.

Buy Necessary Flossing Tools

We admit that flossing with braces is not fun. But even though it’s more of a challenge, remind your child that it will become easier with practice. Also remind them to use a clean section of floss between each tooth so as not to spread bacteria and plaque. A special floss threader helps thread the floss through the wires, and a water flosser with an orthodontic tip is great at safely blasting away particles from around the brackets. For kids who despise flossing, consider offering some kind of non-food reward for daily flossing!

Pack a Braces Hygiene Kit

Let your child choose a fun zippered bag and fill it with oral hygiene supplies that they can use when they’ll be at school or away from home. Customize it to your child’s needs. Obvious contents include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threaders, and floss, but also consider mini interdental brushes, a collapsing cup, a small mirror, lip balm, sugar-free breath mints, extra rubber bands, and plenty of protective wax.

Provide a Braces-Friendly Diet

It’s easier for your child to keep their braces-clad teeth clean if they stay away from certain foods. Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are especially bad. Popcorn is also hard to clean out of braces, and unpopped kernels hiding in each buttery handful are an additional hazard. Other foods to avoid with braces include pretzels, potato chips, raw carrots and celery, hard bread, chewing gum, and hard nuts.

Whenever possible, have them cut larger foods into smaller pieces so they’re easier to eat and clean out of their braces. Nutritious foods that are easily enjoyed while wearing braces include:

  • Low-sugar yogurt and cheese
  • Soft whole grain bread and cooked grains
  • Cooked peas, potatoes, zucchini, squash, and beets
  • Raw blueberries, bananas, strawberries, spinach, and bell pepper
  • Finely chopped watermelon, pineapple, and oranges
  • Tender fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
  • Soft chicken, beef, and pork cut into small pieces

Our Pediatric Dental Team in Laredo, TX

We are here to help make the time your child spends in braces as positive and comfortable as possible. Our website has an abundance of information about braces, and our team is always ready to help. Contact our Laredo dental office if you have any questions or concerns.


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