5 Tips for Going Back to School with Braces

It’s hot outside, you’ve got a nice tan, and you’re at the mall shopping for new outfits to show off to your friends. That means it’s the back-to-school season in Germantown and Collierville! Getting back into your school routine is exciting, and even though we know you’re dreading waking up early, we also know you’re ready to show everyone your new and improved Saddle Creek smile! 

Whether you just got your braces or Invisalign treatment this summer or you’re a seasoned veteran of the orthodontic world, there’s a lot you’ll need to know about taking care of your braces during school hours. As always, your Saddle Creek Orthodontics team has you covered!

Here are a few tips and tricks for going back to school with braces, straight from Dr. Fagala and Dr. Boling. 

#1. Bring a Water Bottle!

Staying hydrated is always important for your overall health, but drinking enough water is also an easy way to keep food particles from sticking to the teeth and braces. Be sure to drink water more than other liquids, especially soda and other sugary drinks. These can stain the teeth, and when you’re wearing braces, you run the risk of ending up with white spots once the brackets are removed. 

Of course, we want you to stick with water, but the occasional soda or fruit juice doesn’t hurt. Just be sure to use a straw so that the sugar in these drinks doesn’t stick around your teeth. 

#2. Lunchtime Lesson: Stick With Braces-Friendly Foods

Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves with new braces, and planning lunch at school can make that even more difficult. You’ll need to avoid foods that are too crunchy, sticky, or chewy. These foods can damage the wires and brackets, and that damage could lead to more time spent in braces overall – oh no!

It’s not too difficult to make sure your foods are braces-friendly at home, but the vending machines and school lunches might be a little tempting or restrictive. If you buy your lunch at school, do your best to check the lunch menu weekly to make sure you can choose braces-friendly foods. Soft vegetables, noodles, or lean meats? Go right ahead! Bone-in chicken, popcorn, or crunchy chips? Steer clear. 

If choices are limited, packing a lunch may make things easier. It’s easier to eat and chew with braces when food is cut into bite-sized pieces. Biting into a whole sandwich can cause large amounts of bread, cheese, lunch meat, and other fillings to get stuck in the front braces, which is unsightly and inconvenient. Prepping bite-sized pieces the night before will save time and keep lunchtime brushing and flossing to a minimum. Be sure to add healthy snacks like yogurt and applesauce to lunch bags to keep your child feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.

5 Tips for Going Back to School with Braces

#3. Keep a Mirror On Hand

Eating with braces can sometimes be tricky, even if the food is friendly for brackets and wires. There are a lot of nooks and crannies that can easily trap food debris, which can be embarrassing. It can also increase the chance of bacteria and plaque setting up shop, causing cavities and tooth decay. 

Unfortunately, most of us don’t like to point it out when someone has something stuck in their teeth or braces! Keep a small mirror in your locker or backpack to check your teeth for food particles after eating. 

#4. After-School Practice? Pack a Mouthguard

Whether you’ve got gym class, recess, or after-school practice, you need to invest in an orthodontic mouthguard to protect your braces while you’re staying active. Sports and other physical activities can increase the risk of braces being damaged or your child’s cheeks, gums, or mouth being injured. Orthodontic mouthguards are constructed to be worn with braces, and they are the simplest way to prevent injury and ensure oral health. These mouthguards are usually available at all major sporting goods stores, or SCO is happy to order one for you!

#5. Keep Your Braces Care Kit In Your Backpack

We recommend every student in braces have a care kit with them at school, but this is especially helpful for kids who are new to orthodontic treatment. Having just a few common items packed away in their backpack or locker helps to prepare them for any braces-related dilemmas. Some of the best items to include are:

  • Dental wax
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Lip balm

Because brackets and wires have a tendency to hang onto food, it’s ideal for students to brush after lunch and floss if needed. These components can also cause mild irritation to the lips, gums, and cheeks from time to time. A small amount of dental wax placed on the offending area can reduce irritation until the problem can be fixed. Lip balm is a big help for lips that are dry and irritated due to braces!

5 Tips for Going Back to School with BracesKick Off Your School Year Right With Saddle Creek Orthodontics!

Starting a new school year can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re wearing a new set of braces or Invisalign trays, but it can also be exciting! It’s fun to show your friends your new smile, and your team at Saddle Creek Orthodontics is proud to be a part of that journey. By following these tips from Dr. Fagala and Dr. Boling, you’ll be well on your way to a successful school year and a happy smile. 

Haven’t started your braces treatment yet? Don’t worry! Saddle Creek Orthodontics offers a free consultation so you can decide on a treatment plan that’s right for you without the pressure. Schedule your free appointment today, so you can start smiling your way around Germantown and Collierville as soon as possible!