Going back to school is an exciting time for most kids – a chance to renew friendships, play, and learn. But it can also be a stressful time for students who recently got their braces.
If your child got braces before school started, there’s a chance that this year’s back-to-school blues are worse than most. To adults, braces might not seem to be a big deal. After all, the treatment is just a couple years, the brackets will come off, and a stunning smile will be revealed.
But a couple years is a large part of your child’s life. To them, braces take a significant amount of time. Now couple that with the pressure of seeing your peers after more than two months, with very different facial features, and your child might feel the need to worry.
At The Glenroy Dental Group we want to help, by preparing you and your child for the school year ahead!
Keep a braces care kit in your backpack.
Packing a braces care kit and sending it with your child to school is a great first step. The braces care kit will help your child be prepared for the most common situations that arise come from wearing braces.
Consider including the following items in the braces care kit:
- Dental floss
- Dental wax
- Lip balm
- The toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss will come in handy, especially after lunch. Braces have a tendency to collect food so it’s important that kid’s set aside time to brush and floss after lunch.
If the braces begin to irritate lips, gums, or cheeks, taking a small amount of dental wax and placing it on the problem area can help reduce irritation. Lip balm will help with dry and irritated lips that can result from braces.
Your orthodontist will have told you what should and should not eaten with braces, but eating at school is hard to control. One way to deal with this is to pack your child a lunch so they’re guaranteed to have braces-safe food. Completely trusting cafeteria lunch options could limit what your child can to eat, or worse might damage their braces.
Stay away from crunchy and hard foods like raw carrots, apples, chips and nuts that can break or damage the brackets. Sticky snacks like taffy, caramel and gum can get stuck to the brackets and wires and tear them apart.
Cutting foods into bite-sized pieces is highly recommended to limit the amount of chewing and tearing.
Use a straw when drinking soda.
Soda is a major threat to dental health for children with braces. Soda and other sugary drinks cause stains and high sugar levels and if they must be drunk, your child should use a straw so that sugars don’t come into direct contact with the braces.
Have a mouthguard on hand.
The best way to prevent injury during gym classes while ensuring proper oral health is to bring a mouthguard to class. There are special mouthguards constructed specifically to be worn with braces. These can save kids from a lot of pain, and save you from a lot of expense. A mouthguard for braces is a little more expensive than a regular mouthguard, but is entirely worth the price if it protects your active child from damage. If you need a custom-fitted mouthguard for maximum safety, talk to us at The Glenroy Dental Group and we’ll be happy to make it happen!
Carry a small mirror.
Have your child carry a compact mirror for those times when she or he can’t get to a bathroom. This comes in handy for quick checks of the braces and elastic applications after eating. If not a mirror, a smart-phone can be used.
Be prepared for emergencies.
If a bracket breaks off during school and you are not in any pain or discomfort, you don’t need to leave school to have it fixed. Just call your orthodontist to let them know, and they will recommend the best way to handle it. This means, of course, that your child should have contact information for your dentist/orthodontist on their phone or person.
The Glenroy Dental Group and You
At The Glenroy Dental Group, your health and happiness, and that of your children and family, are our dental goals. We use the most modern technology available and employ the latest dental techniques to ensure that your dental health and appearance are at the highest level. We want you to receive the best possible dental care with no pain or anxiety!
Our offices are conveniently located in the Pascoe Vale Road shopping strip, Glenroy, with ample parking space, we are located within easy walking distance of the Glenroy train station.