If your child is getting braces in the near future, it’s helpful to let them know what to expect during their first week with braces. Most kids see other kids with braces and think it’s nothing to think about beforehand. At Rochester Advanced Dentistry, we recommend sharing these five tips for kids with new braces to your children before they have their braces placed.
1. Leave Our Dental Office Prepared
After we place your child’s braces, it’s important to make sure everything is just right before you leave so you don’t have to come back for an adjustment. Make sure to check these three items first.
- Check Wire Ends – Ask your child to use their finger or tongue to make sure the wire isn’t extending too much. Otherwise, it will poke them into their cheeks or their tongue.
- Check Your Bite – Your child should be able to comfortable bite their teeth together as they could when they didn’t have braces. Sometimes we can place the brackets too high or too low and it can interrupt the bite. Please let us know if this is a problem so we can fix it before you leave.
- Understand Your Next Steps – We don’t expect you to be an expert in orthodontics. Please make sure to ask us any questions you or your child has or for clarifications about your next steps including specific hygiene directions, how to use dental wax, or anything else.
2. Eat Carefully
Your child can eat as soon as they leave our dental office if they wish. We recommend starting with soft foods and then working their way up to crunchier foods as the soreness goes away. Make sure your child doesn’t eat anything on the do not eat list, otherwise they can damage their brackets.
3. Use Dental Wax
For the next couple of weeks, dental wax is your child’s best friend. Until your child’s cheeks and lips get used to the feeling of the brackets, it can make the sides of their mouths hurt and feel sore to touch. To help prevent cuts and scratches, apply dental wax to the brackets. Over the next few weeks, the skin will toughen up and it won’t hurt anymore.
4. Rinse with Saltwater
If your child does develop any sores or scratches in their mouth, have them swish around saltwater for 30 seconds up to six times per day. The saltwater will help the sores heal faster and also relieve pain.
5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Although the brackets and wires make it more difficult to brush and floss, they’re even more reason to take dental hygiene more seriously. When food gets stuck between brackets, if it’s not brushed away, it can linger and eventually cause cavities. For best results, encourage your child to brush their teeth between meals in addition to in the morning and at night. You can also buy special floss with a pointy end to help make flossing easier. It’s important to maintain dental hygiene because treating dental problems while wearing braces makes things much more difficult.