With a long break in between school months, summer is one of the most popular times for younger patients to begin orthodontic treatment. For those having braces put on, it’s especially helpful, as kids are able to get used to the ins and outs of their appliance from the comfort of home.
If you’re a student who began braces treatment this summer, you may already be feeling a little anxious about what to expect from the upcoming school year. After all, back-to-school season is overwhelming enough, even before you add braces into the equation! While it’s common for the children and teens we treat to worry about what’s ahead, the truth is that adjusting to life with braces isn’t as hard as you might think. As a matter of fact, they’ll be just one more part of your daily routine in no time!
Here at Advanced Orthodontics, we want to help you head back to school with a spring in your step and confidence in your smile. That’s why our expert team has put together our top tips for avoiding stress when starting school with new braces. Keep reading below to learn more!
Be prepared with a basic braces kit
It’s not unusual to have occasional minor issues with your braces, from food getting stuck in the brackets to a stray wire popping out of place. Be prepared for any problems by packing a braces care kit to keep with you in your purse, backpack, or locker! Consider including the following items:
- a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for brushing after lunch
- floss or an interdental brush to use after lunch if you have time
- orthodontic wax, which can be used to cover any part of your braces causing irritation
- extra rubber bands (you should already be changing these out several times a day)
- lip balm for dry lips
- a small cup for rinsing your mouth out after eating
- an unsharpened pencil, whose eraser can be used to push stray wires back into place
Having items like these nearby could save you quite a bit of time, trouble, and discomfort as you work your way towards a straight smile.
Say hello to your new friend H2O
What you choose to drink can affect your braces almost as much as what you eat. Bring a full water bottle to school with you in the morning and drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated and flush food particles from your braces and teeth. Regularly drinking water can also relieve a dry mouth, something that can often happen with new braces.
Try sticking to plain water over sugary options, like soda, fruit juice, or sports drinks. These can cause staining and increase the risk of developing cavities, including white marks on your teeth that will only be revealed once your brackets are removed. If you do indulge in a sweet drink or two, be sure to use a straw to keep the sugar away from your teeth and brush as soon as you can!
Plan out your lunch ahead of time
When it comes to caring for your braces, the rules apply no matter where you are. That means paying attention to food restrictions whether you’re at home, school, or anywhere in between. To protect your brackets and wires, you should be avoiding anything that’s sticky or crunchy, like gum, certain types of candy, popcorn, chips, and nuts. We know this can be one of the most frustrating parts of having braces, but it will be more than worth it when we remove your braces and reveal your beautiful new smile!
Keep your treatment plan progressing as scheduled by checking out your school’s menu ahead of time to be sure you’ll have braces-friendly options available. Look for things like spaghetti, mac and cheese, soups, cooked vegetables, and lean meats, which will be easy for you to chew and safe for your braces, too. You’ll especially appreciate these after an adjustment appointment!
Since you won’t be able to partake in foods like pretzels, chips, and some raw fruits and veggies while you’re in braces, you may be looking for something satisfying to snack on during the day. Fortunately, there are still lots of healthy options on the menu, such as applesauce, yogurt, bananas, and cheese strings. Not only are these gentle on your braces, they’ll also keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
Keep your braces (and your smile) safe
If you’re a student athlete or have regular P.E. classes, an orthodontic mouthguard is recommended. Because they’re designed specifically to be worn with braces, they’re the easiest way to keep your mouth and braces safe from damage or injury during sports and other physical activities. Orthodontic mouthguards can be found at most major sporting good stores, along with non-orthodontic models. Our doctors are also happy to recommend a model or order one for you if you’d prefer to go through our office instead.
Start school off right with a smile from Advanced Orthodontics
Here at Advanced Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing an orthodontic journey that’s as positive and stress-free as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about navigating the new school year with braces, feel free to reach out to our expert team any time. We’ll do everything we can to set your mind at ease and get you off to a great start. You deserve a straight-A smile, and we’re here to help you achieve that!