It’s that time of year again. Summer’s over and school is back in session. But what if new classes, new teachers and new friends aren’t the only things that are different at school this year? What if your child got braces over the summer and has to go back to school with them still on? While this might not sound thrilling for your child, we do have some helpful tips to get them through the transition.

Bring a Braces Care Kit

Keeping braces and teeth clean is top priority, so you want to make sure that your child has a braces care kit to keep their mouth healthy while they are at school. The kit should include:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Orthodontic wax
  • Mirror

Your child should brush their teeth after lunch or any snack if possible to remove residual crumbs and food from their teeth. Flossing gets out plaque and extra food stuck in between teeth, lowering the chance of cavities developing.

Eat Carefully

Your orthodontist should have told you what you should and should not eat with braces, but it’s important to stay vigilant about what your kids are eating. To make it easy at school, pack your child a lunch so they’re guaranteed to have braces-approved food. Relying solely on the cafeteria lunch options could limit what your child can eat or encourage them to eat something that might damage their braces.

Stay away from crunchy and hard foods like raw carrots, apples, chips and nuts as they can break or damage the brackets. Chewing ice is also not advised. Sticky snacks like taffy, caramel and gum should be avoided as they can get stuck to the brackets and wires.

Bite-sized foods are highly suggested to limit the amount of chewing and tearing. If your child has a sandwich for lunch, make sure it’s cut into smaller pieces so the bread doesn’t get stuck in their braces.

Drink Plenty of Water

Bringing a water bottle to school is such a smart and easy way to not only stay hydrated but also keep braces clean throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water can rinse food from the brackets and wires. Kids should use water instead of sodas and sugary drinks to wash the food from their mouths. Soda can stain teeth and leaves behind residue that can cause cavities.

Protect Your Mouth During Sports

Gym class and extracurricular sports are a huge part of being in school and staying active. But any physical activity can be especially dangerous for kids with braces. It’s important for children to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth and braces from any impact or injury they might sustain. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even if they had a mouth guard before, your child will need a new one designed to fit around their braces.

It only takes a split second for someone to accidentally bump into your child during a game of basketball or soccer and damage their braces. Be sure to provide and encourage them to wear adequate protection.

Don’t Be Self-Conscious

A lot of kids are nervous about being teased or bullied because of their braces. Make sure they know that they are not alone. There are plenty of other kids who are wearing braces and going through the same orthodontic treatments as them. If they are concerned about fitting in or worried about being different, let them know that having braces is only temporary. It’s a necessary treatment for some and it will drastically improve their life after they’re finished.

Going back to school is an exciting time for many kids and having braces shouldn’t worry or upset them. Many people go through school with braces and are able to keep their teeth clean and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns you can always call us at (843) 4-BRACES for more information and suggestions.