Many teens will have to wear braces in order to straighten their teeth, treat overbites or underbites, and fix spacing issues. To get the best results, it’s important to make sure your teen takes good care of his teeth and braces. Doing so will also ensure that your teen is as comfortable as possible until the braces are removed. Here are some ways to care for braces for teens in Broomfield:
The orthodontist should give you a list of foods that your teen will need to avoid while he is wearing braces. If this isn’t offered to you, make sure that you ask for it so you know what your teen should and should not be eating. In general, it’s best to avoid sticky foods such as gum, gummy bears, and caramel candies that can stick to the braces. Extremely crunchy foods should also be avoided since biting into these foods could cause the braces to snap. Additionally, small particles of these foods can break off and get stuck in between the braces. If your teen wants to eat healthy, hard foods such as carrots or apples, cut them into smaller pieces so he can enjoy these healthy treats without hurting his braces. Learn what you can and can’t eat with braces
Fortunately, your teen does not need to give up playing his favorite sport just because he has braces. But, you should invest in a mouth guard that he can wear while playing sports to protect his braces. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that teens with braces wear both a top and bottom mouth guard when playing sports to protect the braces. Inexpensive mouth guards can be purchased at sporting goods stores, but you should talk to your orthodontist to see if a mouth guard can be custom made for your teen. An orthodontist can create a mold of your teen’s teeth to produce a mouthguard that fits perfectly in your teen’s mouth.
Brushing and Flossing
Your teen’s oral hygiene should not suffer just because he is wearing braces. Your teen should brush each tooth by moving a soft-bristled brush in a circulation motion. Begin at the top of the tooth and move downward, then start again at the bottom of the tooth and move upward. Doing this ensures that the brush is able to reach the surface covered by the braces. Using a manual brush is fine, but it’s recommended that your teen use an electric toothbrush in order to remove as much plaque as possible. Dental experts advise spending about ten seconds on each tooth before moving to the next one. It may take more time for your teen to brush his teeth with braces since he has to go tooth-by-tooth, but this is crucial.
Flossing can be difficult with braces, but it’s not impossible. It may be best to look for floss that is specially designed for kids that are wearing braces. Be sure to remind your teen to be gentle when flossing so he doesn’t pull too hard and damage his braces.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and increases the teeth’s resistance to acid and other damaging substances. If your teen has braces, it’s best that he uses toothpaste with fluoride every time that he brushes. This will strengthen teeth so they can fight off decay and help your teen prevent white spots from forming on his teeth. You should also look for a mouthwash that has fluoride in it so your teen can rinse his mouth after brushing and flossing his teeth. The fluoride wash will remove any leftover food particles and reach any areas that your teen may have missed.
It can take a little time for your teen to adjust to life with braces. In the beginning, he may feel a bit of soreness as the inside of his mouth gets used to brushing against the surface of his braces. He shouldn’t be in pain, but if he is uncomfortable, dental wax may alleviate the symptoms. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your orthodontist to ask for advice.
Some teens may develop canker sores in the very beginning. If your teen starts to complain of canker sores, look for an over-the-counter treatment or ask your orthodontist to recommend a product that is effective.
Your teen will need to wear a retainer after his braces have been removed. Make sure that you and your teen both listen closely to instructions provided by the orthodontist so you know how to properly care for the retainer. Keeping it clean is imperative so your teen does not put a dirty appliance in his mouth. To keep it clean, make sure that your teen puts it in a case every time he has to take it out. Don’t let him place his retainer on a napkin or hold it in his hands when he’s eating. Your teen should also get in the habit of cleaning his retainer every night as he’s brushing his teeth. Most retainers can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste, so it’s just one minor additional step for your teen’s oral hygiene routine.
Accidents happen, so if your teen breaks or snaps part of his braces, it’s important to take action and bring him into an orthodontist as soon as possible. If you let these problems go, it may make your teen uncomfortable and may even lead to injuries if the problem has to do with broken wires. Most problems can be quickly fixed with a trip to the orthodontist, so make the call as soon as you are made aware of the issue.
At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact
us using the form on our website today!