Did you know that summer is one of the most popular times of the year for having braces put on? Beginning orthodontic treatment with a long break in between school months allows kids to adjust to all the ins and outs from the comfort of home. If you’re one of the many students who had braces put on this summer, you may be feeling a little anxious about going back to school with braces. While this is a common concern among the children and teens we treat, adjusting to wearing braces at school really isn’t hard! With a little patience, they’ll be just one more part of your daily routine before you know it.
Here at Brodsky Orthodontics, we know that you may already be feeling nervous and excited about a brand new school year, and that’s before adding new braces into the equation! That’s why our expert team has put together this guide to surviving school with your braces and your confidence intact. Keep reading below for more information on how to get through this school year with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
Make a plan for lunch
When it comes to braces care, the same rules apply no matter where you are. That means paying attention to what you’re eating at home, school, and everywhere in between! The food restrictions that come with braces can be frustrating, but they’re necessary to protect your brackets and wires. All this effort will be worth it when remove your braces and reveal your beautiful new smile, but in the meantime, you’ll want to keep your treatment plan progressing on schedule by regularly checking your school’s menu ahead of time.
Look for braces-friendly options like spaghetti, mac and cheese, soups, cooked vegetables, and lean meats. These are orthodontist-approved for braces, and they’ll be easier for you to chew as well, something you’ll come to appreciate (especially after adjustment appointments!)
Hard foods like pretzels, chips, and some raw fruits and veggies are off the table while you’re in braces, so you may be wondering what’s safe for you to snack on during the day. Fortunately, there are still plenty of healthy options, including applesauce, yogurt, and bananas. These are gentle on your teeth and braces, and will also keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
Embrace your 8 ounces
What you choose to eat and drink throughout the day can affect your braces, and your oral health, too. Bring a full water bottle to school with you in the morning and drink it throughout the day to help you stay hydrated and flush out any food particles that may be stuck in your braces or teeth. This can also be helpful if you’re prone to dry mouth, something that can often happen with new braces.
Although you may be tempted, do your best to steer clear of sugary liquids like soda, fruit juice, or sports drinks. These can cause staining and increase your risk of developing cavities, so aim for plain water! If you do decide to indulge in a sweet drink or two, be sure to use a straw to keep the sugars away from your teeth and brush as soon as you get the chance.
Be ready for anything with a DIY braces kit
It’s not unusual to have minor issues pop up with your braces from time to time, whether it’s food getting stuck in your brackets or a stray wire popping out of place. Prepare for this ahead of time by packing a braces kit to keep in your purse, backpack, or locker! Some helpful items you may want to think about including are:
- a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for brushing after lunch
- floss or ortho picks to use after lunch if you have the time (and space) to do so
- orthodontic wax, which can be used to cover any part of your braces causing irritation
- extra rubber bands (which you should already be changing frequently)
- lip balm for dry lips
- a small cup for rinsing your mouth out after eating
- an unsharpened pencil for the eraser end, which can be used to push any stray wires back into place
Creating a small kit like this to have close to hand can save you quite a bit of time and discomfort should any issues occur during the school day.
Keep your braces and teeth safe
If you’re a student athlete or someone who still has regular P.E. classes, we recommend using an orthodontic mouthguard to protect both your braces and your smile. These mouthguards are designed specifically to be used with braces, so they provide a comfortable fit even during treatment. They’re simple to use and the most effective way to keep your mouth and braces safe from damage during sports or other physical activities. Orthodontic mouthguards can generally be found at most major sporting good stores, along with non-orthodontic models. Our doctors are also happy to recommend or order one for you if you’d prefer to go through our office.
Start the school year off with a smile from Brodsky Orthodontics
Here at Brodsky Orthodontics, it’s important to us that your orthodontic journey is as rewarding and stress-free as possible. Our team works hard to provide you with trusted information, reliable resources, and experienced support throughout the treatment process. If you have any questions or concerns about navigating this school year with braces, feel free to reach out to us any time. We’ll be happy to set your mind at ease and get you off to a great start with your new braces. You deserve an A+ smile, and we’re here to help you achieve that!