Braces are typically installed during the teenage years as a method of straightening teeth. They can help with cosmetic issues or medical issues, making sure that your child’s teeth are correctly oriented in their mouth. Braces are an investment, and it’s important to make sure that your child carefully cares for both their teeth and the braces during the time that they’re installed. This process can take several years, so these are important skills to learn and practice at home.

If your child has braces, there are several ways that you can help them care for them at home, making the process easier for all involved.

5 Helpful Care Tips for Kids With Braces

Use the Correct Dental Tools

If your child has braces, it’s important that they use the right dental tools to keep their teeth clean. It’s common to need to wear braces for around two years, on average. Your child’s orthodontist will show them how to clean their teeth and braces as well as what tools to use when their braces are installed. Using the wrong type of cleaning tool at home may be uncomfortable or leave food residue behind, so be sure to purchase the correct tools and reinforce their use.

Don’t Eat Sugary and Sticky Foods

Limit the amount of sticky and sugary foods that your child consumes, as it can leave residue behind on their teeth and dental work. Sticky foods can even damage braces or bend wires, causing issues that will need to be repaired by an orthodontist. While your child is wearing braces, it’s best to keep sweets and sticky foods to a minimum. Your orthodontist will likely provide you with a list of specific foods to avoid or that are dangerous for the braces themselves, but popcorn, caramels, and corn on the cob are all typically best avoided, as they can leave food particles behind underneath the braces.

Pack a Braces Care Kit for School

Your child may have some anxiety about taking care of their braces after meals at school. However, if they attend private school, small class sizes with student-to-teacher ratios of 12:1 are often found, and these teachers may have time to help students find the time and location they’ll need to take care of their oral care needs. If your child attends public school, consider packing a braces care kit with everything that they’ll need to get in and out of the shared restroom quickly.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

It’s also vital that you take your child to the dentist regularly throughout the process of straightening their teeth. They can provide professional cleaning, making sure that your child’s teeth stay healthy throughout the process and limiting the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Help Your Child Remain Comfortable

Braces can be mildly uncomfortable, so it’s important to make sure that your child is as physically comfortable in other ways. This is especially important in the summer as the temperature rises. An AC unit needs around 20 BTU per square foot of space that it’s cooling, so spend some time evaluating whether your child may need their own unit for their room or if your existing AC unit can handle the job. Keeping their living space at a comfortable temperature can help limit their frustration and help ensure that they’re as happy as possible throughout the process.

If your child has braces, it’s important that they be able to care for their teeth and the braces correctly. This will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay while providing fresh breath and removing bacteria. Follow these easy tips to help your child learn to care for their braces so that they can take over the process on their own sooner rather than later.