Summer is sadly over, and it is time to get the kids back to school. Summer holidays are the most ideal and convenient time to get your child’s teeth straightened out. The beginning of a new school year can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for students, parents, and teachers. This can be even more overwhelming if you return to school with new braces.
The transition may make you nervous, stressed, and uncomfortable with your new look when talking or eating. Remember, you are not alone whenever you feel conscious about the new braces. If you feel awkward or embarrassed about them, remember that the treatment is just temporary, and when it is done, you will enjoy a straight and beautiful smile for the rest of your life. As time passes, you will get the hang of the new braces. With the help of a few tips, the recent changes to your teeth will seem easy and seamless.
1. Practice The 2×2 Rule and Carry a Brace Kit
The 2×2 rule is a great way to maintain healthy teeth free of cavities and other dental problems by brushing twice daily for two minutes.
It would help if you brushed your teeth before your first meal and then rinse after the first meal. Being consistent with your dental hygiene practices helps straighten your teeth faster and improve your overall dental health. It is essential to brush your teeth after every meal at school. If you feel awkward about brushing your teeth, you can swish with a cleansing mouthwash that your orthodontist can recommend.
Keep a brace kit in your locker or backpack to help take care of your braces easily in school whenever required. The kit should include the following items:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to use after having your lunch.
- Dental wax and lip balm help soothe irritation caused by braces
- A mirror to check for any food particles that might be stuck between the braces
- Extra rubber bands (if elastics are being used in their treatment)
- A case for removable appliances
2. Hydrate and Avoid Sticky, Crunchy Foods
Water keeps you healthy, hydrated and helps remove food particles from your braces and teeth throughout the day. When thirsty, avoid the temptation of reaching out for a soda that can cause cavities and stain your teeth by taking plenty of water.
Stay clear from sticky, crunchy, raw foods like apples, chips, carrots, or nuts. Additionally, do not chew gum, caramel taffy, and ice. These foods may damage or break your braces which may prolong your treatment. Ask your orthodontic team which foods you can comfortably eat. You can preview the school menu so that you know which days to avoid the foods that are not brace-friendly. If possible, carry a meal from home instead.
3. Wear A Customized Mouth Guard
If you are active in contact sports, wearing a mouth guard is a good idea. This helps protect your brackets and wires from damage and keeps you safe from any mouth, cheek, or gum injuries during P.E, practice, and games.
These back-to-school tips can help keep your braces in tip-top shape and speed up your treatment. Keeping up with your orthodontist appointments when fitted with braces is very important. This allows your orthodontist to check the condition of your teeth and braces while making any necessary changes or adjustments to your treatment. You can ask your parent or guardian to pre-book your appointments so that you stay on top of your appointments and avoid last-minute inconveniences. For more information contact Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey, DDS.