How to Maintain Your Child's Oral Hygiene With Braces

How to Maintain Your Child's Oral Hygiene with Braces

A child smiling. The text reads, "How to Maintain Your Child's Oral Hygiene with Braces"

When your child is undergoing orthodontic treatment, many unique challenges may come up that inhibit their oral hygiene. Braces and several other orthodontic appliances, like aligners or retainers, can create nooks and crannies that harbor bacteria and increase the risk of cavities and gum diseases. 

Do not worry, though, because there are several oral hygiene best practices you can uphold to help your child avoid those issues, including regular brushing, scheduled check-ups, flossing, as well as other regular practices. These issues are quite common, and if you are going through them, you are not alone.  

This blog has the answers for you! We will discuss more about the importance of regular cleaning, signs of trouble that your child has an oral health issue, the purpose of professional cleanings and check-ups, ideal orthodontic-friendly products to utilize, and how you can be an active participant in your child’s oral health journey during orthodontic treatment. 

flossing braces

Importance of Regular Cleaning with Braces 


Understanding the importance of regular orthodontic cleanings is essential to maintaining your child's oral hygiene and protecting their oral health. With orthodontic appliances like braces, food particles can easily get trapped, leading to the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.  

Let’s take a deeper dive into best practices for oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment.  


Signs of Teeth or Gum Issues During Orthodontic Treatment 


It is crucial to be aware of the symptoms your child may be exhibiting to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. By following certain practices, you can ensure their healthy smiles and the success of their treatment.  

One of the first signs to look out for is swollen gums. If your child's gums appear red, tender, or bleed easily, it could be a sign of gum disease.  

Bad breath that persists even after brushing may also indicate oral health issues. Also, cavities, visible as small holes, or dark spots on the tooth surface, can be a result of inadequate oral hygiene.  

By being aware of the signs of trouble and sustaining proper oral hygiene practices, you can have comfort knowing that your child's teeth stay healthy, and their orthodontic treatment progresses smoothly.  

Want to learn more? Discover step-by-step instructions for better oral care during orthodontic treatment in this blog post


Regular Orthodontic Cleanings and Check-Ups  


Regular visits to the orthodontist for adjustments and to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups are extremely important during orthodontic treatment. These visits play a significant role in oral health and successful treatment outcomes.  

During orthodontic treatment, the teeth and gums are more susceptible to accumulating food particles and plaque around the brackets and wires. If not removed, these food particles can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other gum diseases.  

Professional cleanings performed by the dentist help remove any plaque or tartar buildup that cannot be effectively cleaned at home. The dentist will use special tools and techniques to clean around the orthodontic appliances, ensuring that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, including the hard-to-reach areas. This helps prevent the formation of white spots on the tooth surfaces and reduces the risk of tooth decay. 

Regular professional cleanings also allow the dentist to assess the oral hygiene status of the orthodontic patient and provide guidance and instructions on proper oral hygiene habits during the brace's treatment. The dentist can address any concerns or issues, such as tooth sensitivity or gum health.  

By consistently following a proper oral hygiene routine and attending regular professional cleanings and check-ups, a healthy smile can be achieved, and the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues can be minimized.  


Orthodontic-Friendly Products  


There are several orthodontic-friendly products and specialized cleaning tools available to make the cleaning process easier and more effective.  




One of the most important aspects of oral hygiene for orthodontic patients is choosing the right toothpaste. Look for toothpaste specifically formulated for orthodontic treatment, as it will help to prevent plaque formation and tooth decay. Additionally, using fluoride toothpaste can strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity.  




Mouthwash is another helpful product for maintaining oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Look for an antibacterial mouthwash that can kill the bacteria responsible for gum diseases and tooth decay. Using mouthwash can also help keep the breath fresh and prevent the formation of white spots on the surfaces of teeth.  


Cleaning Tools 


Specialized cleaning tools such as interdental brushes, floss threaders, and water flossers can be particularly effective for cleaning around braces. Interdental brushes are designed to clean between the teeth and around the brackets, where food particles can easily get trapped. Floss threaders allow for easy flossing between the teeth and under the wires. Water flossers use a stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from hard-to-reach areas. 

If you have any questions about any specific products, we always recommend reaching out to our team at Shine Orthodontics. 

Cleaning braces

Parental Supervision for Oral Hygiene 


Your role as a parental figure can make a dramatic difference in your child's oral health, for better or worse. Here are some tips for you to help your kids keep their teeth healthy and clean:  

  1. Reinforce oral hygiene practices. You should take the lead in teaching your children how to properly brush and floss their teeth. Encourage them to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day. Emphasize the importance of cleaning the front and back of the teeth and the spaces between them. 

  2. Monitor the brushing technique. Keep an eye on your child's brushing technique to ensure they are effectively cleaning their teeth and gums. Help them understand how to brush using small, circular motions and gentle pressure. Consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste recommended by their orthodontist. 

  3. Provide regular reminders. Kids can easily forget to brush or floss, especially when they are busy or distracted. Remind them about their oral hygiene routine and create a consistent schedule to establish good habits. Consider setting timers or reminders for brushing and flossing to make it easier for your child to remember. 

  4. Monitor and limit sugary foods and drinks. Encourage your child to avoid sticky and sugary foods that can cause plaque buildup. Instead, offer healthier snack options like fruits and vegetables.

  5. Schedule regular dental check-ups. Make sure you are scheduling and attending your regular orthodontic appointments, as your orthodontist can spot warning signs before they become issues. 

Orthodontic misconceptions are common. Learn more about them in this blog post! 


Better Oral Health for Your Children with Shine Orthodontics 


By teaching your child oral hygiene best practices such as regular cleaning and flossing, you can easily recognize the warning signs of oral and orthodontal issues. Going to regular orthodontic cleanings and check-ups and using orthodontic-friendly products will help ensure that your child is on the path to enduring oral health.  

At Shine Orthodontics, we empathize with your struggles to help your children sustain oral health while undergoing orthodontic treatments. We are here to partner with you on this journey by offering comprehensive care that goes beyond just straightening your teeth.  

Dr. Michael Agenter and Dr. Jiabao (Ellen) Sun have years of experience helping patients achieve better smiles and they are ready to help you. For orthodontic results that shine, reach out to Shine Orthodontics today!  

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