Going back to school is an exciting time for most kids. However, it can be a stressful time for students that recently got their braces. In addition to wondering what other students are going to think and say about them, students going back to school with braces also have to make some substantial changes to their daily routine. While these daily changes may seem small at home, they can be overwhelming at school, especially during the first days back.
Back to School with Braces – 5 Tips
Below are some quick tips to help kids go back to school with braces, without all the stress.
Keep the Braces Care Kit in Your Backpack
Packing a braces care kit and bringing it to school is highly recommended, especially for kid’s that are new to braces. The braces care kit will help your child be prepared for the most dreaded situations that can come from wearing braces.
Consider including the following items in the braces care kit:
- Dental floss
- Dental wax
- Lip balm
The toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss will come in handy, especially after lunch. Braces have a tendency to collect food so it’s important that kid’s set aside time to brush and floss after lunch.
If the teeth brackets begin to irritate the lips, gums, or cheeks, taking a small amount of dental wax and placing it on the problem area can help reduce irritation. Lip balm will help with dry and irritated lips that can be caused from braces.
Carry a Water Bottle and Stay Hydrated
Going back to school with braces? don’t forget the water bottle. Staying hydrated is great good for your child’s overall health, but drinking plenty of water will also help remove food particles from the teeth and braces. Drinking a lot of water will hopefully also help kid’s stay away from drinking soda and other sugary drinks that can stain the teeth. Getting stained teeth while wearing braces can result in white spots from the brackets when the braces are removed.
If your child does occasionally drink soda or other sugary drinks, it’s a good idea for them to use a straw in order to keep the soda as far away from their teeth as possible. Also, remind them not to swish the soda between their cheeks before swallowing. We know the carbonation can feel good against the cheeks but it’s best practice to keep these sugary liquids as far from their teeth as possible, especially with braces.
Be Careful What You Eat
Orthodontists instruct their patients to avoid certain kinds of food. For example, it’s best to stay away from hard, gooey, sticky, and crunchy foods as they can break or damage the wires and brackets of the braces.
The temptation to eat candy or chew gum is even higher in school. One common recommendation is to pack yogurt, apple sauce, or other soft-sweet foods to satisfy sugar cravings.
When going back to school with braces, it’s highly recommended that children get in the habit of packing a lunch. Packing a lunch is the best way to ensure that all food options are braces-friendly. Since it’s easier to eat and chew with braces when food is cut into bite-sized pieces. Biting into sandwiches, for example, can result in large amounts of bread, mayo, cheese, and lunchmeat getting stuck in the front braces. Cutting food into bite sized pieces will save time from brushing and flossing at school, and prepping the food before school will ensure it actually gets done.
Keep a Mirror Close By
Eating with braces can be tricky. Particles can easily lodge between the teeth and the braces. As a teenager, this can be rather embarrassing. Imagine talking and smiling to classmates without knowing that there’s a big piece of food lodged between your teeth, waving hello to everyone you talk to.
To make it worse, usually people won’t tell someone that there’s something stuck in their teeth. A child could go all day without knowing there’s sandwich in their teeth. This embarrassment can easily be avoided by carrying a small mirror or putting a mirror in their locker to quickly check for lodged food a few times each day.
Have a Mouthguard Handy
Wearing braces during gym class increases the risk of getting injured. One basketball to a face with braces can cause serious damage to the cheeks and gums. The best way to prevent injury and ensure proper oral health is to bring a mouthguard along to gym class. There are special mouthguards constructed specifically to be worn with braces and can save children from a lot of pain.
There you have it. 5 Quick tips for going back to school with braces. With these tips, each child can go back to school knowing that their smile and confidence is not going to be negatively affected by braces.