Convincing your kids to take care of their teeth is always a challenge, but once they have braces it seems to get even more challenging! Having braces, however, makes it all the more important to take care of teeth. Not only do you want to ensure the braces do their job and don’t break, but you also want to ensure healthy teeth with no cavities or tooth decay.

Helping your child remember that proper care of braces means they will work more quickly and efficiently can be a great motivator! After getting braces in Growing Smiles clinics – Anna /Richardson we’ll provide you several tips you and your child should do to take care of teeth with braces:

Brush Four Times per Day

Without braces, dentists advise brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. However, food tends to get stuck in braces pretty easily, which can lead to acid buildup and cavities. This is why most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day; in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner, and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that their mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to the braces.

Floss with Some Helpful Tools

Flossing still remains very important while your child is in braces. But, flossing can be difficult when brackets and rubber bands impede the progress of regular floss, which is why we suggest using some helpful flossing tools! Dental picks, floss threaders, superfloss, interproximal brushes (often called proxa brushes) and Waterpiks are all great tools that provide more powerful flossing solutions for those in braces. Each tool is designed to improve the effectiveness of flossing for those wearing braces. At Growing Smiles, we suggest researching a couple of them to discover the best solution for your child.

Replace Your Toothbrush More Frequently

Your child’s toothbrush will need to be exchanged in less time than its usual 3 month lifespan when your child’s brushing frequency increases. Additionally, the brackets will cause more damage to the toothbrush than teeth without braces would. It will be time to get them a new toothbrush when their toothbrush bristles begin to fray and the head loses shape, usually around 2 months of use.

Swish Water

A good way to remove debris that’s caught in braces is by vigorously swishing water after each meal. The water will be able to get rid of a lot of the stuck food, but harder to reach debris will need to be brushed or flossed away.

Avoid sticky candy

Sticky candy may taste delicious, but it creates quite a few problems for your child’s teeth and braces:

Sticky candy is full of sugar, which causes tooth decay.

Because sticky candy gets stuck on your child’s teeth, it holds the sugar close and causes even more tooth decay.

Braces provide even more places for sticky candy to get stuck and hold sugar close to the teeth.

Sticky candy can also stick to part of the braces and rip them out while chewing.

For all of these reasons and more, your child should avoid sticky candy like taffy, caramel, or sugary chewing gum.

Avoid crunchy and hard food

Crunchy foods and hard foods can cause problems and should be avoided, just like sticky candy. Food like popcorn, hard pretzels, and jawbreakers can get stuck inside your braces and then cause the wire or brackets to break when chewing. A single bite of the wrong food can cause a lot of trouble for kids with braces!

Wear a mouthguard during sports

Sports like football, basketball, and soccer create a risk for your children and their braces. Loose balls or stray hands can accidentally hit them in the face and cause trauma to their braces or gums. Most commonly, braces can cut the inside of their lip.

Wearing a mouthguard will help protect your child’s mouth and their braces. Your child may not like them, but they’re much better than a bloody lip or a broken bracket!

Regular visits to the dentist

Visiting the dentist to get teeth cleaned is a must for kids with braces. They can check and clean areas that are often forgotten or difficult to reach. They can remove excessive plaque and calculus buildup that can cause tooth decay.

Partner with your orthodontist

Your child’s orthodontist will have extensive experience in providing, inspecting, and caring for braces. They’ve also had plenty of experience working with kids, teaching them how to take care of their teeth to ensure the braces do their job as quickly and effectively as possible.

At Growing smiles and Orthodontics, we partner with the entire family to give kids a great smile. If you have concerns or questions as a parent, we are here and ready to listen. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or help.

We have two convenient locations in Texas, one in Anna and another in Richardson. If you’re looking for an orthodontist who will work with your kid, then contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’d love to hear from you!


Can I Request to Get Braces off Early?

When you look at your teeth, it’s obvious that there are problems that brushing and flossing aren’t going to fix. Your issues don’t have to do with oral hygiene or the health of your teeth. Orthodontic concerns are at the root of your problem. Braces are the ideal way to correct issues with gaps, crowding, and a bite that is not in proper alignment. To correct orthodontic problems, your orthodontist at Growing Smiles in Anna and Richardson Texas will create a treatment plan that is a good fit for your teeth. As you prepare for this next step in life, it is natural to have questions.

The timescale for treatment is likely to be one of the biggest concerns. Patients want to know how long it will take to get their ideal smile so that brackets and wires can come off. It is typical for orthodontic treatment to take at least two years. Two and a half years is ideal. Some patients may need up to four years if orthodontic concerns are severe.

People Also Ask

Is it Possible to Have Braces Removed Early?

If you are like so many patients, you’ll want to find a way to speed up results and get to the finish line faster with orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist is going to provide you with a timescale for your treatment plan. This will inform you about every step of the process, including:

In the end, the length of time for orthodontic treatment will depend on what is happening in your mouth and how well you are responding to treatment. Your orthodontist is only going to remove your form of treatment when your teeth are ready.

End Orthodontic Treatment Early?

To have optimal results with orthodontic treatment, it is going to take time. The teeth need to be shifted gradually for results to be safe and effective. The main goal is to ensure that your teeth and bite are in proper alignment. Making any adjustments too quickly could cause more harm than good. Removing forms of orthodontic treatment too early will make it more likely for teeth to shift back into their original position.

If you are going to invest in time and visits to the orthodontist’s office to correct your teeth, you want your treatment to be right the first time. While it is true that patience is necessary while undergoing an orthodontic correction, it is a process that will be worth the wait. Experience the following benefits of properly aligned teeth:

What will happen if I get my braces off early? I’ve had them on for a year and my teeth are straight enough for me.

I recommend talking to the orthodontist. The REAL purpose of braces is not necessarily to improve your smile— its to improve the way the teeth fit together and work together. Misaligned teeth can shift your bite in an unhealthy, dysfunctional way that can cause painful jaw problems, headaches, and make you grind your teeth. Having them nice and straight and pretty is a nice perk but it’s not the main goal.

You should be aware that teeth move very slowly through the bone. It is normal for teeth to feel loose for a while as they move, and the braces are necessary to hold them in place until the bone fills in around the roots so they don’t automatically begin shifting back again.

Also- just because the front teeth straight do NOT mean that the bite is correct. Orthodontists do these things in stages. No one but your orthodontist can tell you where in your treatment plan you are and what the risks are if you have them removed early.

Ask at your next appointment. Be aware, however, that you are probably going to be billed for most if not all of the treatment, even if you get them off early. Especially if the doctor has arranged some kind of payment plan with you.

Orthodontic Correction is a Process

It isn’t possible to make teeth magically shift into the ideal position overnight. The process involves careful planning and an orthodontic treatment plan that is specifically tailored to suit the needs of each patient. It requires placing trust in the expertise and experience of the orthodontist.

By following care instructions and avoiding foods that can cause damage to orthodontic treatment alternatives, it may be possible to shorten the length of treatment. The use of self-litigating brackets and a device that sends pulses of energy to your teeth for home use may also make your teeth move more effectively. In the end, only the orthodontic specialist can make that call.

Things to Do

Avoid foods such as popcorn, nuts, chips, bubblegum, toffee, caramels, and cookies. And don’t chew on ice cubes or drink soda pop. All of these things can damage braces and/or cause tooth decay.

Better dental hygiene can allow your teeth to move into the correct position quicker, and shorten the wearing time for your braces.

Biting your nails and playing with your elastics prolong the amount of time you have to wear braces. Find another nervous habit and you’ll see the end of treatment faster.

Foods such as raw fruits and vegetables and hard-crusted bread are great when cut into bite-sized pieces. This reduces pressure on braces during eating.

Objects such as pens and straws can damage braces and result in added time at the orthodontist’s office. So don’t chew them at all.

Don’t Miss Appointments

When you miss an appointment, you are setting back your treatment by weeks or months. If you have an emergency or similar then reschedule at the earliest convenience.

Ask about Accelerated Treatments

Propel incorporates a simple 3 step system that is used chair-side by your orthodontist to stimulate the bone around your teeth during tooth movement. This increases the speed of bone remodeling which is a paramount step toward achieving the straight, perfect smile you’ve always wanted.

In traditional orthodontic treatment, teeth move as a result of pressures placed by your braces. These pressures result in bone remodeling as teeth shift and move through bone to their desired position. With Propel this process is accelerated by stimulating your bone to rebuild and remodel, achieving the desired results in far less time and with much less discomfort. In fact, in some clinical trials, the Propel system has been proven to reduce orthodontic treatment time by up to 60%.

Are you a candidate for Propel? Propel is a clinically proven tool for success and can be used on up to 80% of patients who require orthodontic treatment. The best way to determine if it can help you is to visit an experienced Propel orthodontist.

Trust in the Journey

The most important thing that you can do is have an open mind and trust your orthodontist when it comes to your action plan for your teeth. Keep the end goal in mind. You want to have an unforgettable smile and need patience. Don’t rush your results to have the best outcome. Removing any type of orthodontic treatment before it is recommended could just send you back to square one. Take pictures along the way and post them as a reminder that progress is being made.

Take good care of your teeth. Ask questions when you come in for your regular appointments to see what kind of changes are being made in the position of your teeth if any adjustments are necessary, and the time scale for your orthodontic treatment plan has changed at all from when it was originally anticipated. Everyone is unique. The amount of time for one person will be different for another. It all depends on the nature of the orthodontic problem and how well a person responds to treatment.

Find Out What to Expect

You won’t know what your journey will be until you sit down with your orthodontist to learn about the concerns with your teeth and what kind of options are available to you. If you are only interested in how your front teeth look, you may be able to shorten your treatment time. However, this is not the best course of action if you want lasting results that will treat your entire mouth. You want to get to the root of any issues with your teeth to get the most out of your treatment plan.

Create Your Plan of Orthodontic Action

Accordingly, if you have questions and concerns about the right orthodontic treatment plan for you, make an appointment. our doctors at Growing Smiles in Anna and Richardson texas have a great love of orthodontics shines through for every patient who walks in his door. they are a leader in lingual braces and many other aspects of orthodontic treatment.

You can trust that your teeth will get the care they need from your initial consultation to every step in the process for effective orthodontic treatment. When you place yourself in our doctor’s care at Growing Smiles in Anna and Richardson Texas, your teeth will be properly adjusted on the schedule that meets your needs. It will be worth your wait. 


We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. Growing Smiles is a pediatric dentist in AnnaRichardson, Plano, Garland, Murphy we have Pediatric Services in Texas: Early Childhood CarePreventive CareGeneral TreatmentsSedation DentistrySpecial Needs DentistryEmergency Service and Orthodontic (Braces & Invisalign) For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.

A lot of parents wonder the same things when it comes to fixing their child’s crooked teeth:


Put simply, a “right” or a “best” age doesn’t exist for a child’s first trip to the orthodontist office. Rather, keep an eye on your child’s teeth and bite alignment. Keep an eye on changes that you may see over time, but don’t wait too long if you suspect that something just isn’t right. Call the orthodontist for an appointment.

If your young daughter or son has misalignment issues or crooked teeth, he or she can most likely benefit from braces. An orthodontist will be able to determine which type of braces are best for your child’s specific needs.

All in all, there isn’t a definitive answer regarding age. However, many orthodontists recommend taking your child to his or her first orthodontic appointment around the age of 7 OR at the first sign of orthodontic problems.

Remember when we just told you about keeping an eye on your child’s teeth and bite alignment? Do that. If you see crowding issues, bite alignment issues, crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or protruding teeth, schedule your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation as soon as possible.

Some kids start orthodontic treatment at 6 years of age, whereas others start at 10 years of age. Some say that 10-14 years of age is the ideal time to start with orthodontic braces since the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more conducive to straightening ”

Keep in mind that every child is different though. Every child’s mouth doesn’t develop the same way.

However, around the age of 7, common orthodontic issues become visible.

Just remember — keep an eye out for potential oral problems and call your pediatric dentist or orthodontist depending on the type of dental problem your child is experiencing.


Your child’s first orthodontic appointment is an important one. He or she will get to know the orthodontist and other team members. The introductions should go smoothly and your child should feel comfortable asking questions.

He or she shouldn’t feel afraid or scared, but if this happens, the orthodontist should be trained and experienced to effectively handle the child’s emotions. Here are some things to expect for the first appointment:

You and your child should feel comfortable asking questions during this first appointment. If you or your child doesn’t feel comfortable, maybe the orthodontist isn’t the right one for your family.

Just so you understand a bit more clearly, this first appointment kind of sets the tone for the rest of the appointments. That’s why it’s very important that your child feels comfortable and at ease right from the start. This will help to develop a healthy foundation for all future orthodontic appointments.

Hacks and Tricks for Braces

If you’ve always dreamed of having a beautiful smile, braces are the most effective way of achieving your very own. From traditional metal braces to Invisalign, there are a variety of options to fit your budget and your preferences. Today’s braces are both affordable and virtually painless, but there are a few things to keep in mind when undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, including the importance of brushing and flossing multiple times a day, and avoiding sticky and sugary foods as much as possible. Here are our tips and tricks for getting the most out of life while wearing braces.

What Can I Eat with Braces?

Many of the foods you were once able to enjoy without braces can also be eaten with braces, but there are a few types of foods that it’s best to avoid.


Hard and crunchy foods are best avoided as often as possible to prevent the loosening of wires or the breaking of brackets. These types of foods can cause damage to braces that can only be repaired with a trip to the dentist. Some hard and crunchy foods to avoid with braces include:

It’s also recommended that individuals who wear braces avoid sticky and sugary foods that can attach to brackets and wires and cause significant damage. This includes candy, caramel, sodas and other sugary drinks, cake, ice cream, and other desserts.

How Do I Get Rid of Pain or Soreness from Braces?

While most people do not experience pain from wearing braces, there are exceptions. You may experience occasional mild soreness due to the movement of teeth below and above the gum line which can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers or a warm saltwater mouth rinse.

What Do I Do if My Braces Break?

If your braces are damaged from food or if your brackets or wires become loose, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. However, there is a temporary fix that can prevent permanent and lasting damage. Simply affix a small amount of orthodontic wax to the area until you can make an appointment with your orthodontist to have them repaired.

How Do I Floss with Braces?

The easiest way to floss with braces is by using a Waterpik or other similar device that uses water pressure to remove food particles and tartar to prevent plaque buildup which can lead to cavities, gingivitis, tooth loss, and more. The Waterpik system is great for anyone concerned about their oral health, but especially for children who need additional supervision during brushing or adults and adolescents with braces who have trouble using traditional floss.

 We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment. 

The 10 Best Foods for New Braces

When you first get your braces on, you are probably going to experience some discomfort and soreness. It may take some time to get adjusted to your new braces, but even then, you might not be ready to jump back into your normal eating routine. Anything too hard or too crispy might be difficult for you to delve into for a few days. Here are ten of the best foods for new braces.

1. Yogurt

Looking for something to have for breakfast, but you aren’t quite ready for cereal or a breakfast burrito? Yogurt is a great alternative. It requires no chewing, which means that if your jaw and teeth are sore, you won’t even have to use them to eat this food. And because there are literally hundreds of different types of yogurt, you are sure to be able to find one that you enjoy. Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating yogurt, as it usually has a high sugar content and you want to protect the health of your teeth.

2. Mac and cheese

Especially if you can convince whoever is preparing it for you to boil the noodles for an extra minute so they are extremely soft, mac and cheese is a great choice for individuals wearing new braces. It requires some chewing, but the pasta will be soft enough that you will not really have to dig your teeth into it in order to chew it up enough to swallow. Again, there are lots of different types of mac and cheese, so you are sure to find one that you enjoy.

3. Chicken noodle soup

While this might have originally been reserved just for cold winter days or when you are sick, soup is the perfect food for new braces. The protein and vitamins and minerals in chicken noodle soup will help keep your health and increase the rate at which your mouth heals after having braces put on, and you do not have to worry about doing very much chewing in order to eat it. You can even soak bread or crackers in the broth long enough that they are extremely easy to eat, too.

4. Ice cream

The cold of ice cream makes it an ideal choice for new braces, as it will help to numb the pain and relieve some of the inflammation that comes along with wearing braces. Plus, as a bonus, getting to eat ice cream after getting your braces on is sort of like a reward. You did something that might be a little difficult and a little scary, but you also get to have ice cream! Like with the yogurt, it is important to remember to brush your teeth after eating ice cream, to prevent the sugar in the ice cream from hurting your teeth.

5. Mashed potatoes

If you are looking for something a little bit more substantial, but still soft enough to eat when your teeth and jaw are sore, mashed potatoes are the perfect food. Not only are they super simple to make, they can be made in several different ways, so you’ll never get bored. Add in a little cheese or some sour cream for extra flavor! When I first had my braces on, I probably ate mashed potatoes for three days straight until I moved on to eating more substantial foods.

6. Pancakes

Pancakes hit both of the criteria for new braces food: they are delicious and they are easy to eat. They are soft enough that you can easily eat them without having to worry even a little about how exacerbating the soreness in your jaw and teeth. For breakfast or dinner, pancakes are a great meal.

7. Bananas

Bananas are another favorite best foods for new braces. Because they are soft and easy to eat, you can pack one to go with your lunch, have one for breakfast, or eat them along with your dinners. If you are particularly sore, you might wait until they are fully ripe and very soft before eating one.

8. Fish

If you need some meat in your diet, but are not quite ready for beef, pork, or chicken, which can be a little difficult to chew if putting pressure on your teeth causes you any pain, fish is a great alternative. Whether baked, boiled, or fried, there are lots of different ways to prepare fish, and because it is naturally soft and flaky, you will have no trouble eating it, even if your jaw is still sore.

9. Cooked vegetables

Raw vegetables might be too hard to get your teeth into when you are wearing new braces, but there are lots of ways you can cook vegetables that will make them soft enough to eat. Boiling is a good option, as is baking. Your goal will be to get them as soft as possible. Veggies like carrots, broccoli, and zucchini will usually be too crisp when they are raw, but when boiled or baked in the oven, it will be just soft enough that you can still enjoy them. Squash is another good option, as are steamed greens.

10. Scrambled eggs

More substantial as a breakfast than yogurt, but still soft enough to be comfortable to eat, scrambled eggs are one of the best foods for new braces. There are also ample possibilities for additions to your scrambled eggs. You could add cheese, onions, and peppers, for a quick, easy-to-eat breakfast!

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.