Even though it still feels like summer, the smell of school supplies fills the air. That’s right, summer is coming to an end and that means school is back in session. With new classes, potentially even new schools, homework, seeing their friends again, sports, etc. taking care of their braces may be the last thing on your child’s mind. And who could blame them; that’s a lot of stuff to get thrown back into all at once!
As parents, it’s our job to make sure that our kids are taken care of as well as giving them the tools and opportunities to take care of themselves. This is especially true for parents whose children are wearing braces this school year.
In this article, your Idaho Falls orthodontics team, Randall Orthodontics provides tips and best practices to ensure that your child’s oral health and braces are kept in tip-top condition throughout the school year.
From which foods to avoid to how to create a “braces care kit” that your child can take with them to school, we hope this list will provide you with all the answers you need for going back to school with braces. If you do have any questions, please feel free to call our Orthodontics office in Idaho Falls. We are more than happy to answer any and all of your orthodontic questions.
Pack Their Lunches With “Braces-Friendly” Foods
It’s anyone’s guess what the school cafeteria may be serving, but chances are at least half of the time the food their serving won’t be made specifically for kids with braces. For this reason, it may be a good idea to pack your child’s lunch for them or if they are older have them pack their own. In this way, you can ensure the food that your child is taking to school is braces-friendly. Common foods to consider packing in their lunch include:
- Noodles (macaroni, spaghetti, alfredo, etc.)
- Fruits and Vegetables (chopped or cooked)
- Chopped meats and cheeses
Foods to Avoid:
- Soft Drinks
- Candy and Gum
- Hard pretzels
- Hard Fruits or Vegetables that haven’t been chopped like apples or corn-on-the-cob.
Send Them With A Water Bottle
As your Idaho Falls orthodontist, we recommend sending your child with a water bottle to school every day. Not only will this keep them hydrated, which has numerous benefits that go beyond oral health, but drinking water throughout the day can prevent cavities, keep their mouth clean, and fight bad breath.
Create A School Braces Kit
If your child had braces put on over the summer, they are probably used having all of their “tools” on hand. Now that school is just around the corner, you don’t want them to spend all day at school without their supplies. For example, if your child gets a piece of food lodged between the wires in their braces, and they don’t have something to get it out with, this could lead to a potentially annoying and embarrassing situation. Our Idaho Falls orthodontist office recommends making a braces kit with the following items in order to avoid this situation from happening. You’ll need:
- Bag with a zipper – A pencil case is a perfect size to hold all of your child’s braces supplies.
- Toothbrush (with case) and Travel-Size Toothpaste – With braces, children need to be able to brush after lunch or if they have a snack.
- Extra Elastics – Because braces’ rubber bands have been known to break or get lost at school.
- Dental Floss and Floss Threaders – Along with brushing after lunch, flossing is another important step in your child’s orthodontic routine. Having these on hand will make it more likely that your child will stick to their everyday oral hygiene care.
- Proxy Brush – For those hard to reach places.
- Orthodontic Wax – If a wire breaks, orthodontic wax can reduce pain until you are able to make an appointment with your Idaho Falls orthodontist to have the wire fixed.
- Over-the-counter Pain Medication – If your child has recently had their braces adjusted their mouth may be a little sore; over-the-counter pain medication can help to reduce some of their pain during the day. Check with your child’s school’s policies before you send your child with any kind of pain relief medication.
- Mouthguard – For gym class or sports, a mouthguard can keep your child’s teeth and braces safe from any impacts that may occur.
- Chapstick – Brushing and flossing during the day can cause lips to become chapped, avoid this by always packing chapstick in your child’s braces kit bag.
- Locker Mirror– In case your child doesn’t have time to run to the bathroom between classes to check their braces, a locker mirror is extremely useful.
- Retainer Case – If your child has a retainer, make sure they take their case with them and use it. Retainers have been known to get thrown away from being left on school lunch trays, by kids who are in a rush to go outside and play.
Keep Orthodontic Appointments
In the summertime, it’s sometimes easier to keep orthodontic appointment since you don’t have school hours or sport’s schedules to compete with. Randall Orthodontics strives to make sure that all of our patients are able to keep their Idaho Falls orthodontist appointment without missing out on all the other activities and obligations that occur during the school year. Call Randall Orthodontics today to schedule your child’s next orthodontist appointment. We want to make sure that they smile with confidence this school year and in the years to come.