kidbraces-200x300It’s tough enough to encourage children to maintain proper oral health, but when they suddenly have braces it can be even more challenging for parents. Braces mean that kids have to avoid certain foods, such as caramel, chewing gum, chips and other hard foods.

Encouraging them to brush after every meal is absolutely essential to maintaining good oral health and reducing bad breath. Having braces means more places for food to get caught in and hide. It can be extremely difficult to get out everything with just brushing, so rinsing and using other oral cleaning strategies can help as well.

Discourage toothpicks. Some kids may prefer to use toothpicks to try and clean out their braces, but this can actually cause damage to the braces themselves. It’s best for them not to use any kind of toothpick while they are wearing braces.

Depending on the age of the child who has braces, they will respond to different rewards, so use them effectively. These rewards could be anything from an allowance, extra money, not having to do a certain chore on a specific day, and more, all for just brushing their teeth properly.

Encourage the use of mouthwash. There is a wide range of mouthwashes that are specifically designed for children of all ages. When a child has braces, rinsing with mouthwash can not only help them maintain good oral hygiene, it’s good for their breath, too. Wearing braces usually leads to an increase in halitosis (bad breath). That’s because of all the food particles and residue that gets left behind that a toothbrush simply can’t reach.

Rinsing with mouthwash helps to kill a number of germs and other bacteria that are responsible for bad breath.

Try relying on these strategies to help promote good oral health for any child who has to wear braces.