Congratulations on getting your kid started on orthodontic treatment. When it comes to Invisalign for kids, there’s no doubt any parent will be concerned about helping maintain good oral hygiene. After receiving your kid’s first set of trays, you may have heard the orthodontist give you some clear instructions on what foods to avoid, which drinks can stain the aligners, and the need for a good oral hygiene routine.
We are sure that, by reading this blog post, you will brush up (pun totally intended) on oral hygiene basics, what products to use, and learn a few tips to better care for the Invisalign® clear aligners. You will need to help your child keep a clean mouth and keeping some supplies on hand whether at home or on the go.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
You may already be familiar with the importance oral hygiene has on your dental health. It’s essential anyone brushes and flosses to remove food particles and prevent harmful bacteria from eroding their teeth and causing decay.
Helping a child maintain good hygiene habits, even before they receive Invisalign for kids at their orthodontist, is vital to their dental development, preventing infections, and avoiding periodontal disease. But we are focusing on the negative effects poor oral hygiene can have during anyone’s orthodontic treatment.
The ABCs of Dental Hygiene
Help kids understand the value of their dental hygiene routine. Developing good habits from a young age will work wonders if you are considering orthodontic treatment for older patients.
When parents ask about Invisalign for 14 year old patients, they are also trusting that their kids are responsible enough to care for their dental hygiene on their own. Still, it’s always crucial that you help oversee these habits on a daily basis.
Remind your kids about brushing their teeth after every meal. Normally, we would remind all our readers that, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), everyone should brush their teeth at least twice a day. However, we remind any patients using clear aligners that they should take the time to brush their teeth after every meal.
Any food particles lodged between anyone’s teeth will affect the way the clear aligners push a patient’s teeth. You might want to remind your kid they should brush their teeth well after every meal.
Flossing is even more important while your child is wearing their Invisalign clear aligners. Using dental floss is essential to removing food particles between your teeth and around the tooth’s base next to the gums.
You could also consider getting interdental brushes to help with a deep clean between your child’s teeth
Making sure that the patient flosses at least daily will help ensure the treatment’s efficiency as the risk of developing tooth decay or periodontal disease lessens.
To Eat or Not to Eat…
Fortunately, young patients using clear aligners won’t have to endure so many dietary restrictions as others using braces for kids, so your kid might be happier about that. Your child may continue to eat popcorn, hard taco shells, sticky foods, and other hard fruits. Just remind them to take off their aligners before taking their first bite.
We do want to remind all our readers that they should remove their clear aligners if they drink anything other than water. soft drinks like Cola sodas, black tea, and coffee can easily stain the aligners. Even if you change trays constantly as part of your treatment plan, stained aligners defeat the purpose of using a near-invisible appliance.
The Tips You Should Know for Invisalign for Kids
There are always a couple more things we can do to help maintain good hygiene during anyone’s orthodontic treatment. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
Many patients choose to use two different toothbrushes for their teeth and their aligners. This is because the aligners require a soft-bristled brush that will not be too abrasive or damaging, while your kid’s teeth may require stiffer, tougher bristles to scrub and remove food particles.
Another benefit to using two separate toothbrushes is that your child will minimize the risk of staining their aligners with food particles left on your toothbrush from brushing their teeth.
While any patient can still use whitening toothpaste on their teeth, they should not use it on their aligners or the brush used to clean them. Whitening toothpaste can leave a film on your kid’s clear aligners or make them appear cloudy and dull, defeating the purpose of their invisibility!
It is a good idea to purchase a clear aligner soaking solution to use daily or every few days to keep your kid’s aligners thoroughly clean. Many patients choose to soak their clear aligners while eating dinner at home to make the best use of their time!
If your child has to go to school and eat there or go somewhere for a long period, you’ll definitely want to invest in a travel case for their aligners. This will keep the aligners safe while your kid is out and about and help prevent loss and damage.
Because your child will need to remove their trays when eating or drinking anything besides still water, you’ll probably find yourself needing to remind your kid to brush their teeth even if they are out of the house. Try preparing a small travel kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and your child’s clear aligner case to help them stay prepared and with good oral hygiene!
Getting the Help You Need
Maintaining good oral hygiene while your kid wears their clear aligners is essential for your oral health and your smile treatment’s success.
Even teenagers might still need help, and considering that there is no minimum age for Invisalign, you should always show much interest in helping your child with their oral hygiene routines.
If you are ready to schedule your free consultation with our orthodontist in Alpharetta, call our office today!