Going back to school in braces (or clear aligners)? Here are some tips to keep that smile healthy!
Whether you’re attending class in person, virtually, or a mix of the two this year, for our patients who may have just begun their orthodontic journey, figuring out how to integrate taking care of their braces into their school routine can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips we have put together to help you start the school year right.
1) Keep those snacks and lunches braces-friendly
Whether you’re learning from home, packing food to take to school, or buying lunch in the cafeteria, go for foods that are not only easy to chew but healthy for your teeth. Here are some examples of braces-friendly snacks:
-berries, grapes, or other fruit (make sure things like apples are cut into bite-size pieces)
-sandwiches made with soft bread
Remember, avoid eating hard and/or sticky foods as these can pull on wires and loosen brackets, resulting in extra visits to our office to repair your braces and slowing treatment progress.
2) Have a braces care kit nearby
Keep a bag with these items in your backpack or near your study area at home to manage any braces-related issues that may arise throughout the day:
-toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
-dental floss and floss threaders or super floss
-rubber bands (for those patients we have instructed to wear them)
We strongly recommend patients brush after each meal and floss at least once per day to remove any food and plaque that may collect on your teeth and appliances. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment will help ensure you get the best result possible.
3) Wear a mouthguard
We know not all sports teams are playing this year, and those that are may have special guidelines in place. Regardless, if you are playing any kind of contact sport, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury and prevent damage to your braces. You can buy orthodontic mouthguards online or from sporting goods stores that are made to fit over braces.
4) Drink plenty of water
Not only is water good for your overall health, but it’s also great for your teeth! Keeping a water bottle handy will keep you hydrated, and can also prevent food particles from sticking to your teeth and braces. Stay away from drinks that are carbonated or high in sugar as these can damage the enamel of your teeth and result in unsightly white spots once the braces are removed. This applies to our aligner patients as well–white spots can form around the attachments that are bonded to your teeth.
5) When in doubt, give us a call!
We want your orthodontic treatment to be a success and as stress-free as possible. Whether you’re unsure if that new snack is braces-friendly, you ran out of rubber bands, or you need a little extra instruction on proper brushing and flossing technique, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.