Back to School With Braces: 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition
Starting the School Year Off With Braces
As summer winds down and the familiar scent of sharpened pencils fills the air, the back-to-school season brings a mix of excitement and nervousness for students. For those sporting a newly acquired accessory—braces—the return to the classroom may present additional challenges.
However, with a few helpful tips, navigating the halls and lunchrooms can be a breeze. From maintaining oral hygiene to navigating social situations, students need the right strategies in place for a smooth transition. In this article, we will explore practical advice to help students embrace their orthodontic journey with confidence so they can focus on their studies and make the most of their school experience.
1. Oral Hygiene at School
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene during the school day is vital for kids with braces, and parents can help them by packing a compact oral hygiene kit. This kit should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss or interdental brushes.
To ensure privacy, advise your child to use discreet techniques like utilizing a mirror or finding a secluded spot for brushing and flossing. Encourage them to rinse their mouth with water or alcohol-free mouthwash after meals and snacks, particularly when brushing might not be feasible, to help eliminate food particles and prevent plaque buildup.
2. Packing Braces-Friendly Lunches
When it comes to school lunches, select foods that are gentle on braces while still providing necessary nutrition. Some of the best braces-friendly options are soft fruits, cooked vegetables, yogurt, and sandwiches with soft fillings (egg, tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, etc.). These selections are easy on braces and pleasing to the tummy.
Encourage your kids to avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods that could damage brackets. Cut foods into small, manageable pieces to make chewing easier and less likely to cause discomfort.
3. Dealing With Discomfort
Discomfort is a common aspect of orthodontic treatment, but there are strategies to manage it at school. Orthodontic wax is a game-changer for alleviating discomfort caused by brackets or wires rubbing against the inside of the mouth. And you can make it fun for your child by purchasing orthodontic waxes in colorful cases.
Additionally, over-the-counter pain relief options such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe when used as directed. You can keep an emergency orthodontic kit at school, too, that includes orthodontic wax, a small mirror, and a disposable toothbrush to handle any unexpected issues.
4. Handling Social Situations
Before the school year begins, take some time to address any concerns your kids may have about potential teasing related to their braces. Remind your kids that braces are temporary and that they’ll have the most fantastic smile when their treatment ends.
Encourage your child to practice smiling. Please help your child embrace their individuality and view their braces as a unique accessory. Foster open communication with friends and teachers about orthodontic treatment to create a supportive environment. Remind your child that their friends and teachers are likely to be understanding, and encourage them to build a network of supportive friendships.
In fact, let your kid know that within North America alone, an estimated 4 million individuals under 18 currently wear braces. So even though their friends might not be wearing braces now, many of them will in the future.
Back-to-school means it’s time to take on more braces responsibility.
As students head back to the classroom with braces, it’s crucial for both children and parents to understand the importance of allowing teens to own their braces care. By empowering your child to take responsibility for their orthodontic treatment, they will develop valuable life skills and build confidence along the way.
Encourage your teen to take charge of their oral hygiene routine, reminding them to pack their oral hygiene kit and practice discreet techniques for brushing and flossing. Supporting your child’s independence in caring for their braces will not only help them maintain a healthy smile but also foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Remember, if your child is experiencing braces discomfort or is struggling with proper care, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Dr. Mo and our team are here to help. Request an appointment with Dr. Mo at Must Love Kids to ensure your child’s orthodontic journey is as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Together, we can make this school year a successful one, allowing your child to embrace their braces and shine with confidence.