Is your child heading back to school sporting new braces this year? Summer is a popular time at our clinic for children to get braces, so going to school with them will be a brand new experience.
We at The Brace Space can help make it a smooth, happy, comfortable transition for everyone!
Getting accustomed to anything new requires a little thought and proper preparation. New braces are no different. Learning new daily oral hygiene routines and changed meal options the first few weeks at school may be a bit overwhelming for both the child and the parent. There may be some anxiety or apprehension, but with a positive approach and a few hints, a beautiful, confident smile will be right behind!
To help in this transition, we at the Brace Space have put together some tips below to help make it a smooth and stress-free orthodontic experience.
Type of Braces:
First of all, at The Brace Space, all our braces are the revolutionary new clear, custom LightForce braces or clear braces for the front teeth, so there are no metal braces on the top front teeth to worry about.
Kids and adults love them and they might want to prepare for the first day, by choosing one of the many colours of elastics.
Maybe students want to choose their school colours or ones to match their first day outfits, or just choose their very favourite colours. The choice is up to them! And it is fun!
During the summer, with family and friends around, it is easier to prepare the proper foods and pay attention to braces-friendly foods. But, if schools offer lunches or have vending machines, it may be too easy for children to grab something that is not braces-friendly.
At the initial braces appointment our staff take time to educate all patients as to how to decide if something is braces-friendly or not. Often favourite foods can be modified to make them braces-friendly with a bit of extra preparation.
It is helpful to plan ahead and take the time to review a cafeteria menu, to see if there is something there that children with braces can eat.
If there are not braces-friendly choices, it may become necessary to pack a lunch. This will make things easier.
Favourable foods include mashed potatoes, spaghetti, mac and cheese, thinly sliced lean meats and cooked vegetables. If a child is a picky eater, packing a lunch can sometimes make things easier for both the parents and the patients! Pasta, soups, and other soft foods are great options for a Thermos. Sandwiches can be cut into small bite size pieces. This makes eating and chewing much easier for students in braces.
So what are the no no foods?
Say no to:
•Sticky (candy, gum)
•Hard (raw carrots, nuts)
•Large (pieces of meat, whole apples)
•Crunchy (chips, popcorn)
Say yes to:
•Nature soft fruit ( blueberries, peaches, strawberries)
•Hard boiled, fried or deviled eggs
•Soft crackers (Goldfish)
•Naturally soft raw veggies (peppers, mini tomatoes, cucumbers)
•All veggies (steamed, roasted or grilled to soften, or julienned into small pieces that can be more easily chewed)
•Smoothies and soups
•Veggie dips (hummus)
•Soft dairy products (cheese string, yogurt, cottage cheese)
Drink Lots of Water
Taking a full water bottle to school in the morning and drinking it throughout the day is key. It helps keep children hydrated plus cleans out any food particles that may remain in the mouth. Regularly drinking water can also relieve a dry mouth, something that can often happen with new braces.
It is important to stick to plain water over any sugary liquid, like juice, soda or sports drinks. These can cause staining and increase the risk of developing cavities.
One of the biggest concerns new patients have is that they will not have time to brush and floss at school. If school schedules do not permit the time, a mouthful of water to rinse away debris and food particles is the next best option. Brushing then should be done when the child returns home from school.
A Braces Hygiene Kit
At The Brace Space, all new patients are given a braces care kit. It is small enough to pack in a school bag and includes among other things:
•a soft-bristled toothbrush specially designed to work around brackets and fluoridated toothpaste for brushing after lunch, if time allows
•floss or ortho picks to get out bits of food
•orthodontic wax, which can be used to cover any part of braces causing irritation
The braces care kit is also a great place to store rubber bands if they are prescribed to help correct a bite issue.
If supplies are running low or used up, we are always happy to replenish at your next visit.
Ready Set Go
If participated in sports, parents often have questions about mouth guards.
if students are playing a sport that requires a mouth guard normally, then they should also wear a mouthguard for that sport when they have braces.
As braces are constantly causing the teeth to move, a custom mouthguard will not work long enough before it has to be changed. There are braces friendly mouth guards that can be remodelled as your teeth move.
These ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards specifically for braces, are a good option. Most sports stores carry them.
We work with our patients to provide them with experienced support throughout the treatment process. If at any time there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Before you know it, you will have the A+ smile you have been waiting for.