Do Teeth Need Special Dental Care While Wearing Braces?
Keep your child’s smile shining brightly while they’re straightening their teeth.
Getting braces is an exciting time for kids and parents alike. Your child will grow accustomed to wearing their new braces, and together you’ll overcome new challenges, like learning to brush around brackets and wires. You’ll also be spending more time than ever going to dental care appointments as most orthodontists recommend checkups every four to eight weeks.
One thing that can be easily forgotten during your child’s time with braces is the importance of continuing to visit their regular pediatric dentist. Even though your child will be visiting their pediatric orthodontist monthly, these appointments aren’t a replacement for preventive care from a general dentist.
Pediatric dentists and pediatric orthodontists work as a team.
Think of your child’s orthodontist and dentist as two important members of the same team. Both have the same goal of providing your child with the highest level of care possible, but they have different ways of achieving that goal.
Your child’s pediatric orthodontist is skilled in all things braces.
Pediatric orthodontists focus only on your child’s progress with braces. They tighten wires, maintain brackets, and oversee your child’s progress on their journey to a straight smile. If a problem arises with your child’s braces, they are the ones who find a solution.
Although they may notice structural damage to your child’s teeth, such as a cavity, they do not treat these issues.
Your child’s regular pediatric dentist focuses on your child’s oral health.
General pediatric dentists are all about maintaining your child’s overall oral health. They keep your child’s teeth free from plaque, catch early signs of dental trouble, and treat common problems like tooth decay and gingivitis (gum inflammation).
General pediatric dentists don’t tighten wires, repair brackets, or have much to do with the braces themselves.
Kids with braces should visit their dentist at least every six months.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their kids in for preventive dental checkups once every six months. Here are the three main reasons why regular visits to the dentist are so important while your child is wearing braces.
Early Tooth Decay Detection
The sooner early signs of tooth decay are caught, the sooner a filling can be placed. Traditional braces can make brushing trickier for kids and increase the risk of developing a cavity during orthodontic treatment. Your child’s dentist will keep a very close eye on the health of their tooth enamel and watch for any indications that dental caries (cavities) may be forming.
Early Gum Disease Detection
Plaque buildup around brackets can irritate the gums, causing gum inflammation called gingivitis. Over time this can lead to pediatric gum disease. Pediatric gum disease can cause gum pain and bleeding, increase risks of tooth decay, and interfere with your child’s orthodontic treatment.
Nothing beats a professional teeth cleaning with your child’s dental hygienist. Plaque can build up faster when braces are present. And once that plaque hardens, special instruments are required to remove it, making those regular cleaning appointments even more important. Professional cleanings keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay and give you the peace of mind that your child’s smile is clean and healthy.
Don’t forget about the importance of a great at-home dental care routine.
In addition to your child’s all-star dental care team, at-home dental care habits play a big role in their overall oral health and the success of their orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when helping your child with their new braces-friendly oral hygiene routine.
- Continue brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, but consider adding in additional brushing sessions after meals.
- Experiment with flossers and interdental cleaners if wires and brackets are making string floss difficult.
- Try water flossers and powered toothbrushes to help your child get the most effective clean.
- Steer clear of sticky, hard, and very crunchy food.
- Keep an eye on how much sugar is in meals, snacks, and drinks.
Last but not least, if something seems amiss with your child’s teeth or braces, get in touch with their dentist as soon as possible.
Book a checkup appointment at Pediatric Dental Specialists today.
Has it been close to six months or more since your child’s last dental checkup? You can book their next preventive care appointment with Pediatric Dental Specialists today by calling our office or filling out this quick form.