How to Support Your Child with Their New Braces
Getting braces can be a really exciting opportunity for your child, giving them healthy, straight teeth. However, it can also be a big adjustment and hard to get used to. This guide explains three things you can do to support your child as they adjust to their new braces.
Work Closely with Their Orthodontist
The first thing you should do to support your child is to work closely with their orthodontist. Learn everything you can about their braces, and ask as many questions as you need. Whether you want to know what to do if a brace breaks, what snacks you should avoid, or if they're cleaning their teeth adequately, your orthodontist can provide answers. You should also ensure that your child feels comfortable around their orthodontist, and you should keep up with regular appointments to make sure your child's braces are looking good.
Help Them to Brush Their Teeth
Brushing your teeth becomes a little more complicated with braces, as it's important to make sure that no food is lodged in the braces. If food gets stuck and isn't cleaned out, it can lead to bacterial growth and eventually to cavities and tooth pain. Ask your orthodontist about how to clean around braces, and follow their advice closely. This may include using a special interdental brush or a particular toothpaste. You may have to supervise your child's brushing and ensure their teeth are clean for a while after they get braces, even if they brushed unsupervised before. They should be brushing after every meal, even at school, and this might also be something you need to check up on for a while.
Be Careful with Food
There are certain foods that are not compatible with braces, as they can easily get stuck or cause breakages. Healthline has a handy list of these foods, including nuts, popcorn, gum, chewy sweets, and even hard pizza crusts or bread rolls. You should make sure that your child does not eat these foods, and if you have a young child, make sure their school and friends' parents also know not to give them these items. Depending on the rest of your family and your home situation, you could decide not to have these items in your cupboards at all to avoid accidents—or at least, make sure your child has lots of healthy, brace-friendly snacks to eat instead.
By working with their orthodontist and asking as many questions as possible, ensuring that they're cleaning their teeth properly, and making sure they don't consume any brace-breaking snacks, you can support your child and make sure that their experience with braces is a positive one.