Summer seemed to have taken an eternity to arrive, and now it’s almost over! With the first official day of fall only a few weeks away and most children returning to school, now is the ideal time to discuss how to care for braces both inside and outside the classroom. This can be extremely useful information for students who are returning to school for the first time after beginning orthodontic treatment.
Traditional braces, like any new adventure in life, can provide their own set of difficulties. The Texas Association of Orthodontists is here to assist you in making that change. If your child is wearing braces to school, they may be nervous about what they will face in the weeks and months ahead. Continue reading for a handful of our best advice on how to deal with braces as a student!
With a basic braces kit, you’ll be ready for anything.
A simple braces kit should be kept in the purse, backpack, or locker of any student wearing braces. This kit can help those who are new to the treatment process feel prepared and ready to manage any little concerns that may arise during the school day. We recommend adding the following items in the kit:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush,
- Fluoride toothpaste,
- Dental floss,
- Orthodontic wax,
- A pencil that hasn’t been sharpened
These objects can be useful in a variety of situations. Because brackets and wires create nooks and crannies where food particles and other waste might become trapped, we recommend brushing after lunch and flossing if time allows.
Braces patients may have slight irritation inside the lips, cheeks, and along the gum line on occasion. Placing a pea-sized amount of orthodontic wax on the issue area can be a great approach to relieve irritation and find relief.
The eraser end of a pencil can be used to shove a loose wire back into position if it is poking the gums or face. The region can then be covered in orthodontic wax for added stability.
Lip dryness is sometimes exacerbated by braces. As a result, we consider Chapstick or lip balm to be a year-round must-have accessory for braces patients.
Don’t deviate from your treatment strategy.
The same criteria apply whether a patient is at school, at home, or somewhere in between. This is especially true when it comes to dietary limitations, which can be one of the most difficult aspects of wearing braces. School might make it even more difficult for kids to find braces-friendly lunches and snacks! When parents are in charge of grocery shopping, managing dietary restrictions at home is simple, but it can be more difficult if a patient likes school lunches or has regular access to a vending machine.
Check the school’s lunch menu every week for alternatives that are braces-friendly, such as lean meat, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, mac and cheese, and cooked veggies, to keep orthodontic treatment on track. Packing a lunch for fussy eaters can sometimes make things easier for both the patient and the parent! If you have a Thermos, pasta, soups, and other soft foods are ideal possibilities, while sandwiches can be split into smaller portions the night before for easier chewing. This is especially beneficial following adjustment appointments when a child’s mouth may be sore.
Even while individuals with braces must avoid meals such as pretzels, chips, and some raw fruits and vegetables, there are still lots of healthful alternatives, such as applesauce, yogurt, cheese strings, and bananas. These are easy on braces and will keep youngsters full and satisfied throughout the school day.
Lunchtime is about more than just food. What a youngster drinks at school has almost as much of an impact on their dental health as what they eat. Drinking water from a bottle throughout the day keeps kids hydrated and keeps food particles off their teeth and braces. However, avoid soda and fruit juices in favor of simple water. These substances can discolor teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities. They can also leave ugly white stains on the teeth, which are frequently not visible until the braces are removed. When all you want is a sweet drink, use a straw to keep the sugar away from your teeth and clean as soon as possible.
An orthodontic mouthguard is recommended for student athletes or children who have regular P.E. sessions. A correctly fitted orthodontic mouthguard is designed to be worn with braces and will protect the braces as well as the child’s mouth from injury while participating in sports and other vigorous activities. Orthodontic mouth guards, as well as non-orthodontic variants, are commonly available at large sporting goods retailers. For patients and parents who would rather go through their Orthodontists, most offices offer mouthguards, so just ask your orthodontist!
With a smile from your Texas Orthodontist, start the school year off properly.
It’s normal for children to be concerned about returning to school with new braces, especially if they don’t know what to expect. Even people who have had braces for a long time may experience some nervousness at first! The good news is that, with a little patience, braces will quickly become an accepted part of your child’s daily routine.