Millions of teens have either had braces or currently have them. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist at the first sign of an orthodontic problem, but no later than the age of 7. A common issue that parents deal with when their kids have braces is how to get them to practice good oral hygiene habits. Many of them struggle with trying to get their kids to properly care for their teeth and braces. The good news is that there are things that parents can do to help create good oral hygiene habits in their kids.
“The biggest complaint that parents have is that their child doesn’t keep their teeth and braces clean,” explains Dr. Michael Florman, a Los Angeles-based orthodontist and the chief executive officer of EverSmile, Inc. “It’s important to combat this issue to avoid problems. Getting braces on a child is an investment in their physical and emotional health, and you don’t want that to be jeopardized by poor oral hygiene habits.”
One of the top concerns for parents who have kids with braces is the white spots that they can get on their teeth. According to a study published in the journal Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, the white spot lesions are decalcification of enamel. Their study reports that the most important measure one can take to avoid these white lesions is to have good oral hygiene. In other words, the white spot lesions are 100% preventable and all it takes to prevent them is having good oral hygiene.
So just how do parents go about motivating there are kids to maintain good oral hygiene habits? Here are 5 tips for establishing healthy oral hygiene habits in kids with braces:
- Create an oral hygiene schedule. Make it as important a priority as their violin lessons or sports practices. Schedule it each day for a few weeks, which will help them establish the habit and lay the foundation to continue doing it going forward.
- Help them determine if they are doing a good job. Have them 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. 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 will change color, but this also makes it clear where they are missing when brushing. Seeing the plaque for themselves, they will know if their brushing needs improvement.
- Invest in a light-up makeup mirror. This will help make 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.
- Skip the toothpaste for better results. 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). Don’t forget to have your kids floss. Flossing with braces is easy when using floss threaders, such as the Glide Threaders.
- Choose helpful products. Take advantage of products that are designed to help with oral hygiene with braces, such as the new product 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.
“Taking the time to teach kids with braces to have good oral hygiene habits is going to be time well-invested,” added Dr. Florman. “Their teeth will be in top shape when the braces come off and they will have a foundation of healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Give it the time and attention and you will see the world of difference that it makes.”
EverSmile has created a line of products that will help those with braces, aligners, and retainers keep their devices clean. At the same time, they will be able to clean their aligners, whiten their teeth, and freshen their breath. The products are now available in 3,800 CVS stores around the nation. The line of products includes EverSmile WhiteFoam, which gently cleans aligners or trays, EverSmile OrthoFoam, which cleans under and over braces, and EverSmile WhitenFresh, which is a freshening and tooth whitening spray that kills bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay.
EverSmile products use patent pending EverClean™ technology which cleans and whitens using proprietary surfactants, solvents, and hydrogen peroxide. It breaks up organic stain particles that discolor the teeth and dental appliances.
Dr. Florman, who practices in Los Angeles, is considered to be one of the top Invisalign providers in the country and has over 25 years of consulting experience for oral care companies including for Colgate, Arm & Hammer, and others. Dr. Florman has invented multiple dental products and Triana, an entrepreneur, has brought several products from inception to commercial success. For more information about the company and products, visit their site at: www.eversmilewhite.com.
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