Back to school orthodontic tips from Dr. Rick Herrmann

Girls in School Hallway

Back to school orthodontic tips from Dr. Rick Herrmann

Summertime has come to an end and most parents are busy preparing their kids for back-to-school.  Among all the things parents are thinking about such as supplies and clothes, it is worth noting that orthodontic health is just as important. If your child is wearing braces, you should take measures to ensure their treatment continues smoothly and that their teeth remain healthy.

Here are some tips to help you make this happen.

Insist on Oral Hygiene

It is important that you instill in your kids the discipline of brushing and flossing. The 2×2 rule requires you to brush teeth for 2 minutes, twice every day. The American Dental Association recommends that:

  • Children and adults brush twice a day using a soft-bristled tooth brush. The shape and size of the tooth brush should fit the child’s mouth and allow them to reach all the corners and crevices.
  • Toothbrushes be replaced after 3-4 months or the moment the bristles are weak or worn out.
  • Brushing be conducted with fluoride toothpaste

For effective cleaning of teeth, you should teach your kids to place their tooth brush at a 45 degree angle and to gently move it to and fro in short strokes. They should learn how to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.

If your child indulges in sugary or starchy foods during lunch break, it may be advisable to have them carry a tooth brush and paste for cleaning the teeth after the afternoon meal. Food debris can have a devastating effect on teeth and can leave stains on braces.

Teach Your Child To Drink Water Throughout The Day

Make sure your child carries a water bottle to school. Water is good for hydration and helps facilitate body processes. Water also acts as a substitute for the sugary drinks that children are often tempted to drink to quench their thirst. Additionally, water contains fluoride which is necessary for fighting off cavities. Most importantly, drinking water regularly will help your child wash out food debris in the mouth and dilute the acids produced by mouth bacteria.

Carry Extra Rubber Bands

For children with braces, rubber bands are necessary for jaw alignment. Rubber bands are connected to the brackets and help adjust the position of the teeth and jaws. They line up the child’s teeth and facilitate a shorter treatment period. Consult your Mansfield Orthodontist on when to remove rubber bands and also when to replace them. Due to the importance of rubber bands for kids with braces, have them carry an extra pair to school and even better, have them store some in their school locker for emergencies.

Pay Attention to Diet

The saying that you are what you eat implies that your general health is determined by the foods and drinks you consume. Sugary foods and drinks are harmful to the teeth and also place stains on braces. If your child should eat these sugary foods, then have them wash away the sugars and debris with water. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and release acid that destroy the teeth and promote cavities and in serious cases can cause decay.

Prepare healthy snacks for your kids. These can include milk shakes, raw vegetables, grains, fruits, and eggs. Soft foods such as spaghetti are also recommended for children with braces. Bananas are highly lauded for their high potassium and fiber levels. These nutrients are good for the heart and bones. If your child’s school has a cafeteria, ensure you choose healthy foods on their behalf.

Oral health is one of the things you should pay attention to as you look to send your kids back to school. Nurturing and caring for your child’s teeth will pay off in future when they are adults with healthy and bright smiles. For further advice and instruction on the proper dental care measures, contact our office, we’ll be happy to help.