I have partnered with EverSmile for this feature. Opinions are my own
It was the week before spring break when Anthony had his braces put on. He had an expander put in last fall and we had been doing nightly turns for it and now the braces on his front top teeth is the last part of phase 1. Phase 2 for him will come in a few years when he gets the full set of braces. With Anthony we need to widen and lengthen his top jaw so those adult molars have room to come in.
Anthony is 9 and keeping a 9 year old on a teeth regimen is so hard. He just does not get it, as in what the effects of not taking care of your teeth with braces on will have on the enamel and color once they come off. Because they are so young and cannot grasp the entire realm of braces they need our guidance-everyday!
He has always been bad at flossing. His teeth are so close together it actually irritates him to floss. I did go and buy a waterpik but even that makes a mess and I get water all over the sink when he uses it. Then I discovered OrthoFoam by EverSmile. It has been a life savor as far as flossing goes. All he does is put some on his toothbrush (or you can rinse or use in a tooth tray) and he brushes it into his teeth for a good minute. It freshens and helps whiten too but I make him brush with toothpaste afterwards anyway so he gets his flouride. He uses it 1-2 times a day depending on the day. Then off he goes, the OrthoFoam does the plaque fighting without the strings of floss.
Here are some tips from EverSmile that you can use to help your kids get the best results from their orthodontic treatment.
- Similar to teaching your kids a sport or musical instrument, practice makes perfect. Set up a schedule before bedtime for a few weeks in which your child brushes their teeth and then comes to you for an evaluation. Seeing plaque is easy, and by simply pointing out where your child missed, he/she can go back to finish cleaning off the plaque. After about two weeks of doing this every night, your child will accomplish their plaque removal goal much better. Another useful tip is to take a toothpick and run the point around the gum line, braces, and in-between the teeth, gathering up the plaque and testing if the teeth are cleaned. The bunched up plaque will look like mashed potatoes with a white to yellow color.
- When removing plaque, it is best to do so with no toothpaste on the brush. Toothpaste foams up and makes it impossible to see anything going on in the mouth. First brush with water only, removing all the visible plaque, then brush with toothpaste to deliver the fluoride contained within. Toothpaste is really only needed for breath freshening and medicament delivery (fluoride).
- Investing in a light-up makeup mirror makes it easier for kids to see what they are doing when brushing. Use a portable, adjustable mirror so that your child can easily watch themselves brushing each night.
- Use plaque disclosing solutions or tablets to highlight the plaque allowing children to see where the plaque is located. This is fun for kids because the plaque on their teeth change color but also makes it clear where they are missing when brushing.
- Don’t forget to have your kids floss. Flossing with braces is easy when using floss threaders. We recommend Glide Threaders.
- Last but not least, a new product recently came onto the market called EverSmile OrthoFoam. OrthoFoam is a patented hydrogen peroxide, anionic cleaning formula for braces and teeth that removes plaque by breaking it down. OrthoFoam can be used three different ways: 1. As a foaming rinse in conjunction with brushing, 2. As an add-on “brushing booster” used alone or with your regular toothpaste, or 3. Applied to teeth in custom or stock dental trays which is the most effective method.
These tips can help prepare your child for braces as well as maintain care. You can find more tips on the EverSmile blog too.