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Tips for children who wear braces

Instilling your kids with good dental hygiene habits is not always easy. But proper dental care is doubly important when one of your children gets braces.

Regular brushing (three times per day) for three minutes is crucial for children with braces because braces can trap bacteria. When left on the teeth, this bacteria contributes to development of cavities and gum disease. To encourage your child to brush for three full minutes, try playing a song or setting a timer.

Quality oral care also requires the right instruments and techniques. People with braces should opt for a toothbrush with a short head and slightly curved handle in order to facilitate gripping. The bristles must be flexible and/or be medium-firm. As soon as the bristles start to fray, it is time to get a new one. Normal toothbrush wear happens more quickly with braces on, so keep an eye out for it! When you have braces, your toothbrush never lasts more than three months.

Just as for individuals who do not have braces, brushing should cover all areas of each tooth (left/right, anterior/posterior and lower/higher). Always move the brush away from the gums and toward the tips of the teeth. And always use dental floss before brushing. Also, by brushing your tongue, you can eliminate food particles and improve your general oral hygiene. The choice of toothpaste is up to you, depending on your preferences. However, your dentist may suggest a particular toothpaste if you have specific needs.