By the time a child is seven years old, he or she should have a check-up to see how their teeth are doing.
At this time, you may be presented with the information that your young one may need braces to correct their teeth. If this happens, no doubt you will want to know if they will be able to continue their lifestyle and enjoy their favorite activities and food once braces are placed in their mouth.
Fortunately, there are a variety of braces to fit the needs of every child.
Some orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign can be removed, while some oral conditions do require braces to stay in place.
Does your child play sport either as a hobby or an extra-curricular activity after school?
If so, you will need to get him or her a mouth guard to protect their teeth and mouth, especially regarding braces that are not removable.
Children who play wind instruments generally have no issue continuing with playing after braces have been fixed to their teeth. In fact, while they will need a little time to adjust to the feel of having braces and playing their instrument, this generally is not a complicated process.
It is worth mentioning, however, that some activities should be avoided or at the very least done with caution. For example, fixed braces require that your child not engage in an activity that will put them at risk of getting hit in the face. While a mouth guard is essential in playing sports, as mentioned earlier, it is imperative that your young one takes care when playing games featuring motion capture technology.
If he or she accidentally became struck by another player, not only could their teeth get damaged, but they could also suffer an injury from the metal in their mouth to their gums, lips, and cheeks. If any piece of metal broke off, this could get dislodged, so have your child exercise caution.
Also makes your you have enough orthodontic wax at your disposal. Without a doubt, it will take time for your child to get used to the basis, and it’s absolutely normal for them to feel irritation. In certain cases, there may be soreness in their mouth, and in such situations, you can use orthodontic wax.
The wax will make your child’s bracket more comfortable. Simply roll the wax in your fingertips to soften it and then apply it on the parts of the bracket that’s causing the soreness. Wax will take a few minutes to solidify, and then it will form a protective layer that will prevent brackets from rubbing and causing any irritations.
Eating with Braces
If your orthodontist has suggested, your child to use braces that can be removed from their mouth, eating their favorite meals should not be an issue. The only precaution you need to take is related to hygiene.
After your child removes his or her braces, they must be sterilized before another use.
On the other hand, if the condition of their teeth requires fixed braces, there are a few items of food that will have to wait.
Make sure to have your child avoid eating anything sticky. For example, dried fruit is not recommended. If your child would like to eat fruits and vegetables, both of which are always recommended for a balanced and healthy diet, these should first be cut into either wedges or sticks for easy consumption. The reason why children wearing fixed braces need to avoid sticky food (and gum!) is that they can stick to the braces and pull on the wires and brackets.
Besides, the bands around the molars can be tugged on. This can cause, besides pain, misalignment, which defeats the purpose of the fixed braces.
With fixed braces, sugary drinks and those with carbonation (think soda, juice, and the like) should be avoided. If the sugar was to get trapped beneath a bracket, it could easily lead to a cavity. Also, carbonation and sugar have been known to damage the glue that holds brackets onto the teeth. If your child ends up using Invisalign, it is especially important to avoid these drinks. If he or she were to take a drink, it could end up trapping the liquid and causing the teeth to stay exposed to sugar and acid for hours.
How to Eat with Braces
How you eat with braces is as important as what you eat with braces. The most important consideration is to eat slowly. You need to chew your food slowly, so you don’t hurt your mouth’s in the linings or damage the braces itself.
If your food has apples, carrots, spaghetti noodles, or something similar then it’s important to cut them into smaller chunks so they are easy to chew, and they don’t stick to your brackets.
The First few weeks can be tough
No matter how much care you give to your child, how much orthodontic wax you apply, and it doesn’t matter how soft the food is, the first few weeks are going to be the most challenging and uncomfortable.
At first, your child won’t be able to follow the directions of the specialist like eating slowly, being cautious while playing, etc. and unfortunately this may result in soreness and pain. But after a week or so your child will become pro at eating slowly and carefully and will get used to the braces.
If your child ends up requiring braces, speak with your orthodontist about his or her particular needs and what they can eat and do safely with the type that they need to use.
Every child’s need is different, and so the recommendations will also vary.
The tips and the suggestions in this guide are applicable in most cases, but we firmly believe in professional guidance and so will request you come in for a consultation with Dr. Cohen to uncover the list of suggested foods and physical activities that your child can enjoy.