We hear this question a lot: “How can I convince my teenager to take care of his braces?” As a parent, you want to make sure your child cares for his teeth during orthodontic treatment. You’re making a big financial investment by getting your child braces, and you want to make sure that investment goes as far as possible.
At Clinton Dental Center, we understand your frustration. That’s why we’ve put together these braces care tips for parents – to help you encourage your child to maintain good oral health and hygiene.
Consider Invisible Braces
Invisible braces are much easier to care for than metal braces. They are a little more expensive, but not as much as you may think. With invisible braces, your teen can eat, brush and floss like normal. The only thing you have to worry about is making sure he stays on schedule when transitioning to new trays. Talk to your dentist about invisible braces to learn more about the pricing and maintenance. Then you can determine if they are right for your child.
Remind Your Teen To Brush His Teeth, Especially In The Beginning
Brushing and flossing are important at any age, but they are particularly important for someone with braces. If your child is used to brushing his teeth “whenever,” you may have to remind him to do so each night and each morning. This will soon become a habit, and you won’t have to worry about it as much. Don’t be afraid to be the annoying parent who nags her child to do something. This is for the greater good, and it is something your teen will thank you for in the end.
Maintain A Consistent Schedule
As your child gets older, you may become more lenient about bed times, chore dates, etc. The idea is to give your child the opportunity to do things on his own without being asked. In this state of independence though, there still needs to be some sort of structure. Eat dinner around the same time each night, have a designated time for homework, go to bed before 11 or midnight, etc.
Oral health can be a part of this routine. Ask your child to brush his teeth before he goes into his room for the evening and before he gets on the bus for school. Having some sort of structure will keep your teen’s teeth in great shape with braces.
Get Tools To Make Brushing And Flossing Easier
If your teen has metal braces, flossing may be tricky. Most toothbrushes work fine with metal braces as long as your teen learns how to position the brush. This is something we will teach him when he first gets his braces. The main thing you need to consider is getting the right flossing devices. You can either get plastic floss threaders to pull the floss between teeth, or you can get floss with a hardened tip. These will make it much easier for your teen to brush and floss properly with braces.
Keep Up With Orthodontist Appointments
Make sure your teen attends all scheduled orthodontist appointments. If you need to reschedule one of them, try to get it as close to the original time as possible. This will give the dentist a chance to examine your child’s smile and see how it is progressing with the braces. If there are any oral hygiene issues, the dentist can recommend ways to avoid those moving forward.
There will be an adjustment period for both of you, but you will get through it in no time. Then you can enjoy a lifetime of beautiful family photos with your child’s stunning smile shining through!