Imagine trying to speak correctly and continually getting your words twisted. This may be your teen’s reality. If you’re a parent to a child with braces, you’ve seen the struggles first hand. Braces make it difficult to speak, eat and take care of teeth.
A brace-wearer’s daily dental routine requires patience and consistency. Even though proper care can be a pain, it’s crucial if kids want to get rid of their wires.
Here are 3 tips to help your teen or tween get their braces off – and as soon as possible:
1. Break bad habits.
Common reasons for loose or broken brackets include fingernail biting, chewing on pencils or pens, and eating sticky snacks. Remember: the more kids damage their braces; the longer they have to wear them. Help your children break bad oral habits and their smile will benefit. Try these techniques.
2. Eat soft and small.
The truth is, biting and braces just don’t mix. Hard foods are tough on teeth and tend to get stuck between braces. Loose food particles can create bacteria and eventually turn into plaque. Hard foods aren’t completely off-limits, however. Remind teens to cut them into bite-sized pieces and brush afterwards.
Stick to soft staples as much as possible. If crunchy snacks like crackers and apples are your child’s go-to snacks, make hard favorites soft. Top a casserole with crumbled crackers or bake homemade apple bread.
3. Don’t take shortcuts.
Remind kids why their teeth routine is important. If they follow the rules, a brace free smile is in their future! Make sure they:
- Keep elastics on (except during meals and snacks).
- Brush and floss thoroughly.
- Don’t skip appointments – those early mornings will pay off soon!