5 Hygiene Tips when You Have Braces

Jul 07, 2022

5 Hygiene Tips when You Have Braces

Are you concerned that wearing braces could increase your risk for cavities and discoloration? Find out how often you should brush and floss, and learn about the other steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces.

Crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to clean, and they raise a person’s risk for cavities. Plus, for those who are wearing braces, the wires and brackets can also trap food and bacteria.

Having straight teeth makes it easier to remove the food particles that remain in the mouth after chewing. 

Below, we asked our experts at iSmiles Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics to share five tips that can help children prevent cavities during orthodontic treatment. 

1. Brush right after you eat 

When your child didn’t have braces, their saliva may have washed away some of the food particles trapped on the surface of their teeth. However, when they have braces, there are more places where food particles can get stuck, which makes brushing after each meal a must. 

Brushing is even more important if your child had food items high in carbohydrates (e.g., fruit, bread, candy, pastries, and cereal). The bad bacteria in the mouth feeds on carbohydrates, and they release acids that damage tooth enamel. 

2. Floss after each meal 

Brushing alone cleans only 80% of the surface of the teeth. Flossing takes more time, but it’s the only way you can remove all the food particles stuck between your child’s teeth. 

3. Use mouthwash 

Bad breath is a common complaint among brace wearers. Mouthwash can freshen your breath, and it can help remineralize teeth if it contains fluoride. 

If your child has tooth composite restorations, an alcohol-free mouthwash may work best, as it doesn't change the color of the filings. 

4. Go for regular cleanings 

Not everyone needs them, but if your child’s teeth are more prone to cavities and discoloration, professional cleanings may help. 

5. Use an interdental brush 

An interdental brush is a small brush used for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as the areas around wires and the brackets. An interdental brush can be used to replace flossing for children who have enough space between their teeth to allow for the brush to get in. 

Learn more about preventing cavities during orthodontic treatment 

Cavities and discolorations are common in children with braces, as brushing and flossing take a bit more work during orthodontic treatment. 

Fortunately, with the right routine, you can help your child prevent dental issues and ensure they won’t need restorations. If you’d like to learn more about fixing a crooked smile for children, contact us to schedule an appointment

Our team at iSmiles Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics specializes in working with children and offers a wide variety of orthodontic solutions, from metal braces to clear aligners such as Invisalign®.