An estimated four million people in the U.S. each year undergo orthodontic treatment. If one of those patients is your teenager, you are probably faced with the daunting task of making sure they take care of their teeth and braces. While kids and teens normally love bright, shiny things, that concept probably doesn’t hold true for their orthodontia. Follow these tips to help your teen have a successful experience while wearing their braces.
Encourage lots of brushing
Individuals without braces are supposed to brush twice a day, so double that number if you are an orthodontic patient. Remembering to brush may not make your teen’s priority list, so offer gentle reminders throughout the day.
Send a travel toothbrush
Because your teen likely spends hours away from home, you should purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste for on the go. Your son or daughter will have a harder time fighting you on this point if you supply the right tools.
Focus on getting between teeth
Though it may be more difficult, your teen needs to floss once a day and focus on reaching between teeth, at the gum lines, and around brackets. Flossing is the best way to combat plaque accumulation.
Schedule professional cleanings
When your teen has braces, regular cleanings are critical. Because they have a harder time getting all the areas spick and span, you should make sure to visit the dentist’s office. The hygienist will be able to remove tartar and any build up on teeth.
Sometimes, teenagers respond better when the information doesn’t come from their parents. Ask your orthodontist and dentist to explain the importance of good hygiene to your child.