Heading back to school after summer break will certainly put butterflies in your stomach. The idea of meeting new teachers and learning a new schedule can seem daunting! And if you’ve gotten braces on your teeth over the summer, returning to school gets even more nerve wracking. Don’t panic though. We’re here to help with some tips for going back to school with braces.
Create a braces care kit
Some simple tools will help you take great care of your braces at school. Put a kit together and keep it in your backpack, purse or your locker. Just make sure it’s convenient so you can get to it when you notice food is stuck in your braces. Not only can that be embarrassing, but leaving food stuck in your braces is unhealthy for your mouth and can lead to decay.
Your braces care kit should include:
- Dental floss
- Lip balm
- Wax for your braces
After lunch or a snack, take your kit to the bathroom and clean your teeth and braces. You’ll avoid walking around with food stuck in your teeth while maintaining good oral hygiene. And if your lips get dry and chapped or your brackets start to irritate your gums or cheeks, you’ll have the right tools in place to alleviate symptoms.
Watch what you eat
Unfortunately, braces require you to avoid some foods and treats. Don’t eat hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy foods while you’re wearing orthodontics. Chewing gum, many types of candy, popcorn, pretzels, corn on the cob, beef jerky, ice and overly starchy foods like tortillas will be off limits during the course of your treatment.
At school, it can be tempting to indulge in some of these foods when you’re with friends who offer to share their own snacks. To avoid eating things you shouldn’t, pack your lunch and keep some safe snacks with you. Foods that are OK to eat include:
- Raw carrots, apples and celery, cut into small pieces
- Hull-less popcorn
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Mashed potatoes
- Bagels, if torn into small pieces
- Sandwich bread
- Pancakes and muffins without nuts
- Lunch meat
If you do eat sandwiches at school, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. When you bite into a sandwich, the bread, condiments, meat and cheese can become lodged in your front braces where it’s time consuming to remove. By packing a lunch everyday, you can prepare your foods ahead of time so you have more time to socialize during your lunch period.
Get a mouthguard
If you’re like most students, you participate in sports during school. Whether in PE or as part of an organized team, it’s important to wear a mouthguard while participating in athletics. Getting hit in the face with a ball or bat is not only painful, but it can be devastating to your braces. You can purchase a special mouthguard to protect your braces during these activities. Doing so could save you a lot of hassle and pain in the event of a sports-related accident.
Drinks lots of water
Sure, it’s important to stay hydrated to keep your entire body healthy. But drinking water throughout the day is also good for your teeth. The water will remove food particles from your teeth and braces. Drinking water will also help avoid the desire to drink sugary drinks like soda and juice. If you do decide to indulge in a carbonated beverage occasionally, be sure to use use a straw so you keep the liquid from touching your teeth to the extent possible.
Don’t be embarrassed!
These days, tons of school-aged kids undergo orthodontic treatment. Just look at your classmates’ smiles, and you’ll soon discover how many other kids are wearing braces, too. Don’t feel embarrassed to smile or laugh! Since today’s orthodontic appliances are much thinner and smaller, others will barely notice your braces. So feel free to laugh, smile and talk without restraint!
Do you have other questions about heading back to school with braces? Give us a call to learn more: (321) 432 – 2529.
Contact us today about making an appointment.