One of the biggest “mom issues” I have had over the start to having two children in braces is thinking “how do they really keep their teeth clean?” I feel as if I am constantly reminding them, asking them, or okay, let’s be honest – nagging them to brush their teeth.
Both girls were given general brushing instructions the day their braces were put on, as well as a take home kit with some new fun items to add to our oral hygiene routine. Oral care is definitely different when you have a mouth full of brackets, wires, and rubber bands. Those little extras crowding things in the mouth certainly seem to attract food, keeping it around for much longer than snack and meal time.
Here are some basic tips for brushing teeth with braces:
- Turn the toothbrush at a 45 degree both above and below the brackets
- Gently brush each tooth 10 to 20 seconds before moving on to the next tooth
- Use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss
- Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash
So now, for the big question – how do we do this when the school year is in full swing? Making my daughters a dental hygiene kit may seem over the top, but that is the direction I decided to head. So just what goes into this little pack? The orthodontist we use provided a small clear pouch with some travel sized items, which worked perfectly, making this portable and easy to throw in a backpack or purse.
Our away-from-home dental hygiene kit includes:
- Travel toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Dental proxy brushes
- Mini alcohol free mouthwash
While this away-from-home pack will most likely find its home in their lockers, I also thought about how I could encourage them throughout the day. Since both of my daughters pack their lunch, including a fun proxy brush on a cute note works for me. I am also encouraging them to rinse their mouths after they eat lunch or have a snack. Even a quick rinse with water can help to expel those little morsels of food that get stuck in between the spaces.
As I continue to chronicle our adventure in brackets, I have to confess that our first two months have been relatively smooth. Grace had a wire poking her and had a bracket pop off, both happening at different times. It was just a quick call to the orthodontist’s office and a super quick appointment, then she was all repaired and back to school!
Our orthodontic experience is at Starling Orthodontics in Brentwood, where we are receiving discounted orthodontic treatment in exchange for including them in the blog. Nonetheless, all information and content are an honest review of the experience.