The teenage years are the best time to fix crooked teeth, which is why braces are so common at a young age. Braces can leave a teen with a perfect smile by the time they graduate high school if the procedure is started early enough. However, braces are not something a teen should ignore since there are essential ways to maintain them while they are making those necessary adjustments. Make sure your teen knows these two things as they start the process of wearing braces.
1. Avoid Foods That Are Sticky
Some foods are easy to eat with braces and others that are quite difficult. One type of food to avoid are those that are sticky. Think of foods like gum, taffy, Jolly Ranchers, or anything that tends to stick to the teeth. These foods will put pressure on the braces as it pulls on them, which can loosen the wires attached to all the brackets.
While carefully eating a single piece of taffy is not going to ruin the braces, it is the constant exposure to these foods which is going to cause a problem. Teenagers that find themselves constantly eating candy will have a habit they will need to break if that candy can stick to the braces. If your teen wants to snack, recommend softer foods like apples, popcorn, or chocolate.
2. Learn How To Floss With The Right Tools
Keeping foods out from between teeth with braces is going to be difficult when standard dental floss can't be used like normal. That is why you need to get your teen the right tools to get the job done. An intradermal dental brush is going to help get between the teeth and the wires to remove plaque buildup and forgotten pieces of food.
With the help of a floss threader, your teen can use standard floss to get between the teeth. The tool helps you push the floss between the teeth so that they can scrub the surfaces they cannot easily reach.
Water flossers do a good job of removing food, but they are not a substitute for using dental floss or an intradermal brush. The water removes debris, but it doesn't scrub away the plaque. Teens need to use one of the other tools to clean those hard to reach places.
For more tips on how to maintain braces, contact a dental office like Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists.