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How should my child care for their metal braces?

Your child will need to take extra effort to care for his metal braces. Traditional metal braces are brackets that are attached to the front of the teeth, then wired together. It’s easy for food to get stuck in the brackets. To clean the teeth and the braces, your child should brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste after meals. Your child also should floss at least once a day, threading the dental floss in between the teeth to get under the wire. You can buy special dental floss threaders in the grocery store or drugstore. The orthodontist and dentist can also give you samples. Make sure to schedule your child for professional teeth cleaning twice a year.

Your child needs to be more careful about what he eats when wearing metal braces so that they don't break. Hard foods such as crusty bread, ice, popcorn, and hard candy can sometimes break the bracket off the tooth or bend the wire. Also, sticky foods like caramel and taffy can have the same effect. Even healthy foods such as apples and carrots can break the brackets off, so your child should be careful when eating those. Orthodontists recommend cutting down on sugary drinks like soda and juice, which can cause more plaque to form.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.