Most American families now have to budget for braces for at least one of their children. In many cases, nearly all of your children will need braces. Years of treatment means quite an expense, and if you are investing so much money in your child’s appearance, you really want to bring home to your teen the importance of caring for your teeth during and after braces treatment. The following article is here to help, as it outlines some tips for helping teens care for their braces. For more information, seek out professional advice from those such as Dr. Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates.
Helping Teens Care for Their Braces
Teenagers are notoriously fickle, careless, and flighty. They are prone to neglecting things that should be important to them. So why do you entrust them with such responsibility and strive to help them put their best foot forward? Because you know they can do it, provided they are shown a little respect, given a little responsibility, and allowed a bit of patience. The following list outlines ways to help your teens take care of their braces in order to protect your investment and preserve the result of the treatment.
- Keep sugary foods out of the house: Teens are always hungry, and between meals they will be snacking. Those that wear braces are supposed to avoid soda, taffy and other sticky foods, and any type of sugary food. Since your teen will be ravenous most of the time, it is a little too much to expect them to be able to avoid these foods without your help. Try to stock your pantry with filling and wholesome foods that will not damage their braces or harm their teeth. This small step will go a long way to keeping their teeth healthy.
- Remind your teen to wear his or her retainer: Once your teen loses the braces, they will need to start wearing a retainer. It may only be at night, but many teens either neglect to wear their retainer or refuse to do so. Make sure that your teen understands the importance of wearing their retainer, and that their teeth will begin to shift back if they do not wear it. You may need to remind them every night. If your teen is especially resistant, you may want to consider getting a clear, plastic retainer that is nearly invisible, or having permanent retainers installed behind their teeth so that they do not need to remember to put a retainer in.
- Buy your teen threading floss: Teens are not great with flossing anyway, but when flossing now becomes nearly impossible due to their braces, then good luck! You can buy threading floss that goes in between teeth, and not only floss the teeth but help your teen keep food from getting stuck in their braces, which is always a source of anxiety for them.
- Consider protective gear: If your teen plays sports, you may want to have them fitted for a protective mouth guard. When their braces are on, they will avoid getting their mouth cut up when their teeth collide with a ball or player. When their braces are off, you will be protecting their teeth from getting knocked out after they just spent all that time getting their teeth straightened.
- Schedule regular dental exams: Yes, your teen will already be visiting the orthodontist every few months, but the orthodontist does not clean teeth. In order to make sure your teen’s teeth are as healthy as possible, schedule regular dental exams twice yearly with a dentist such as Dr. Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates.