Braces and Dental Hygiene
Despite how important it is, the act of brushing and flossing your teeth seems to be more of a chore than a helpful thing to do. Kids either do not want to brush their teeth, do not think they need to brush their teeth, or do not see the point in brushing their teeth. Regular tooth brushing, flossing, and good oral hygiene is even more important when kids are wearing braces.
At we suggest anyone with braces brushes their teeth after each meal, and flosses at least once a day. It is easy for food particles and bacteria to become stuck in between the brackets and wires, so regular cleaning is important. But how can we encourage our kids to brush their teeth?
One of the first questions any child asks is, why? Kids will often ask these questions about why they need to brush and floss their teeth too, and you can give them an answer.
Explain to them that teeth are important, tell them about the different parts of the tooth, and show them how brushing can remove all the things that damage your tooth. Certain hard and sticky foods can also damage their braces. If you have imaginative kids, you could tell them a story about how evil bacteria want to destroy the residents of tooth town, and scrubbing it away is the only way to stop them.
Making the education process fun can be a challenge, but it is one way to keep your children engaged with the act of brushing. It is important to be able to relate oral care to your kids, especially in a fun and engaging way.
Make Brushing Fun
Most kids can barely sit still for two seconds, let alone the two minutes required to brush their teeth. To make the act less of a chore, you can make those two minutes fun. Some electric toothbrushes play a favorite song when they are turned on and continue to play that song until the two minutes are up. Or have them choose one of their favorite songs to listen to while they brush.
Or you can make the brushing lead into something else. Maybe ‘two minutes of brushing’ before ‘ten minutes of reading’ before bed becomes a new rule. As a parent, do your best to get excited about brushing because your kids often copy you. If you act like brushing your teeth is something to be enjoyed, rather than just something you need to do, your child will pick up on your excitement.
Give Them Choice
Empowerment begins with choice, and for your child, choices can get them excited about otherwise mundane things. Have your child pick their toothbrush color, toothpaste flavor, and allow them to count down the two minutes of brushing their way. If they have a say in how they care for their teeth, they will be more likely to follow through with it.
Empowering your child or teen to take control of their oral health can only help them in the future, and can also help them get the most out of their orthodontic experience. You don’t want to wear braces for a couple of years, only to come away with stained teeth because you didn’t brush properly while you had your braces on. The more excited they get about preventing cavities and having a good smile, the stronger their teeth will become. If you want to get more tips from Senestraro Family Orthodontics about helping your child with their braces and oral hygiene, then please call (503) 228 1945 today.