Want Some Free Advice?Take The Straight Teeth Test
Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on August 1, 2023
Good oral health starts during childhood, and it is essential that every child develops positive dental habits and receives regular checkups during this time. In addition to staying mindful of tooth decay, the position of a child’s teeth is also important.
Braces correct orthodontic issues that could lead to decay, infection, and bite problems. Without treatment, your child could endure a lifetime of dental issues. Additionally, misaligned teeth can also affect their confidence.
Early orthodontic treatment can make straightening teeth easier. However, if your child needs braces, they will need to make some adjustments to their lifestyle and hygiene routine.
This guide will discuss how you can help your child maintain healthy teeth during orthodontic treatment.
Braces consist of a series of brackets attached to your child’s teeth. A wire is threaded through the brackets, and consistent gentle tension along this wire gradually corrects the position of your child’s teeth.
Orthodontic adjustments correct misalignment and bite issues. A brace can remove gaps in teeth or spread out teeth that are crowded. Improving the appearance of your child’s smile can help raise their self-confidence.
Your child may have a bite issue. These occur when the lower and upper teeth do not align when the mouth is closed. Bite issues can cause difficulty chewing and discomfort in the jaw, neck, shoulders, face, and head. In some cases, the issues can affect speech. A brace can fix these problems.
By correcting the position of your child’s teeth, we will make it easier for them to maintain better standards of oral hygiene. Orthodontic issues can make it difficult to keep teeth clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.
Although wearing braces will improve oral health long-term, special attention must be paid when brushing during treatment. Without proper dental hygiene, your child could develop cavities or infections.
The presence of fixed braces can prove challenging for your child when they are brushing their teeth. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste after every meal helps remove plaque buildup and food particles and keeps braces clean.
Your child must brush gently when cleaning braces. Brush around the brackets and under the wire where debris and bacteria can build up.
When brushing, your child should tilt the head of their brush at a 45-degree angle to get under the wire. Using a soft toothbrush will help protect the brace.
Flossing daily is also essential. This can be done using dental floss, a threader, or an interdental brush. A water flosser can also dislodge built-up debris.
Children that wear braces must pay attention to what they eat. Certain foods could damage the brace or become trapped.
Avoid chewy and hard foods, including:
The following foods are safe to eat with braces:
When biting anything hard, avoid using the front teeth for biting, and cut food into small pieces.
For the first week after getting braces fitted and immediately after any adjustments, some discomfort in the teeth and gums is expected. This occurs as your child gets used to tension along the brace; however, the discomfort is easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers.
If your child experiences discomfort because the brace is rubbing against the inner walls of their mouth, orthodontic wax can soothe this.
Minor discomfort is normal; however, if your child is experiencing severe pain, you should call us for advice as soon as possible.
We will see your child for checkups and adjustments during their treatment. These regular visits provide an opportunity to assess the progress and ensure teeth move as planned.
We will adjust your child’s brace at several stages during their treatment. Each adjustment will tighten the wire, bringing the teeth further into position.
These appointments allow you and your child to ask questions about the treatment or discuss any concerns.
After removing your child’s brace, we will provide them with a removable retainer. A retainer is like a mouthguard that stops teeth from returning to their original position. It is vital to keep the retainer clean to reduce any bacteria build-up.
Retainers must be cleaned at least twice daily using lukewarm water. You can use a soft toothbrush and liquid soap to remove any debris. When your child is not wearing their retainer, they should store it in its case.
Similar care applies to orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign or any other removal aligner.
Braces help correct the position of your child’s teeth, improving the appearance of their smile and ensuring a brighter oral health future. During orthodontic treatment, proper care is essential.
Encouraging your child to maintain good standards of oral hygiene will reduce the risk of tooth decay, while avoiding hard or sticky foods will prevent damage to the brace.
Leading specialist orthodontist Dr Chaw Su Kyi has considerable experience treating children. With her knowledge and support, your child can enjoy the full benefits of their orthodontic care.
Call today to schedule your child’s initial orthodontic assessment.
West London Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Serving patients in Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush, and Chiswick, Dr Kyi and her team specialise in various brace options, including Invisalign. Book a consultation today.