How do you achieve and maintain your smile at school when you just got your braces? Schools operate on a tight schedule. Consequently, students may not have the luxury of time and tools at their disposal to care for their mouth and braces. It is important to make space and time to care for your braces as food and debris can remain trapped in your braces which can cause plaque buildup and lead to other dental problems down the road. The following tips can help you or your child maintain their oral health with braces and Invisalign at school:
Use an Oral Health Kit
Always pack a kit with basic oral hygiene essentials to care for your braces. The braces kit should include:
- Dental wax
- Natural pain remedy or OTC pain medicine
- Rubber bands
- Lip balm
The items are essential because they assist in maintaining your braces. Moreover, they protect you against dental emergencies. The brace kit should be small to fit in your locker or backpack. The size is essential for more comfortable usage and movement at school.
Avoid Sticky, Hard, or Chewy Foods
Braces are sensitive to some foods. Therefore, it is important to avoid foods that may damage your braces or cause discomfort. Examples of such foods include:
These foods can break wires and brackets, which can prolong your time in braces. Additionally, the discomfort caused by these foods is enough to consider eating something else. Orthodontists recommend that patients avoid chewy, hard, or sticky foods. This may limit your choice of foods but protect your braces in the long run. If your child is having a hard time choosing foods compatible with their braces or are not finding options at school, parents may find it helpful to pack braces-friendly meals for their children.
Brush & Floss After Meals
Braces allow food debris and plaque to settle on your teeth. Left unattended, plaque can form and lead to multiple dental problems. However, with your braces kit, you are good to go. After eating, you can pop into the restroom and clean your teeth and braces.
Drinking water is beneficial to your overall health. Additionally, drinking water when you have braces is helpful because it:
- Helps in removing plaques and food particles
- Assists in preventing stains caused by sugary drinks or soda
Wear A Mouthguard When Required
Braces increase your risk of oral injuries, especially for athletes. Contact sports such as football, wrestling, and volleyball (to name a few) can result in oral injury for children with braces. Mouthguards are a great way to protect your child from this type of injury. If you are uncertain if your child needs a mouthguard, consult your Manhattan orthodontist.
Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly
When you have braces, it is essential to visit your family orthodontist regularly. The orthodontist will conduct a routine orthodontic adjustment and provide any maintenance needed. In cases of severe pain, concerns about your appliances, or challenges with broken parts, your orthodontist is a great resource for help and can advise on next steps.
Loose Wire or Broken Bracket at School?
It is common to experience a broken bracket or wire at some point while having braces. This can occur anywhere – even at school.
The remedy is to use dental wax to cover the pointy end of the broken wire. This solution prevents it from cutting the side of your gums or cheek. After the first aid, you should visit Dr. Goodman as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing discomfort from a loose bracket your can use an eraser tip on a pencil or your clean fingers to push the bracket back into place. It will be important to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as well to make sure the bracket is properly adhered.
Contact your Manhattan & Riverdale Orthodontist
If you are looking for an orthodontist in the Manhattan, Bronx, or Riverdale areas of New York, call Goodman Orthodontics at (718)543-4300. We have been making beautiful smiles since the early 90’s and specializing in Invisalign since 1999. We have two locations to better serve your orthodontic needs. Come in for a consultation to find out how we can transform your smile today!