Dental technology has improved dramatically over the years, like virtually every other industry. And while clear braces are suitable for children in some cases, traditional metal braces are still the best solution for most situations. Thankfully, crooked teeth or a severe overbite are usually corrected within 18-36 months. Your teenager may not fully embrace this stage of their adolescence, but they will appreciate the final results. It is important, however, that they follow simple guidelines while wearing their braces. Here are four dos and don'ts to remind your child of.
Do Brush Your Teeth Several Times A Day
When you have braces, food is going to get stuck in them. There is no avoiding it. This not only looks unsightly, it will cause bad breath. While you may be able to get away with brushing your teeth only morning and night without braces, with braces, it is imperative you brush your teeth after every single snack and meal you eat. For most teenagers, this will mean having to brush their teeth at school, so be sure you always carry a travel toothbrush and tube of toothpaste.
Don't Forget To Floss Your Teeth
Just because your teeth are temporarily guarded by a metal cage, you still need to floss your teeth. You don't want to be working to straighten your teeth just to have your braces removed and find you now have cavities to contend with. Flossing is more difficult with braces and it will take longer, but if you use the floss that is threaded on a plastic handle, it will make the job easier.
You can also consider using an oral irrigation system to floss your teeth instead. This system uses a stream of pressured water to quickly and easily remove food particles from the teeth and braces.
Do Follow Your Orthodontist's Recommendations
Your orthodontics dentist may have instructed you to wear rubber bands on your braces. These adjust your bite, and if you want a beautiful smile when it's all over, it's important you wear them for the number of hours each day prescribed. If you play sports and the orthodontist fitted you for a mouth guard, be sure to wear it.
Don't Eat Foods You Shouldn't Eat
Candy, gum, caramels, and gummy worms may be a teenager's favorite sweet treats, but they will cause a nightmare in your braces if you attempt to eat them. Popcorn, chips, nuts, and other crunchy snacks should also be avoided. Don't drink sugary beverages like soda or energy drinks, either.