As August rolls around, we know that most of you are preparing to go back to school. If you just got your new braces placed or are still getting used to your braces – remember that being prepared is always step one in surviving back to school, emergency-free! Tri-Valley Orthodontics is sharing some of our favorite tips with you today – Have an awesome back to school month!
Bring your oral hygiene kit with you to school!
Our oral hygiene kits (which each patient receives once treatment is started) includes orthodontic wax, a standard sized toothbrush, a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threaders, floss, and a small mirror. And don’t forget to bring your elastics (and a compact mirror if needed), or retainer case if you are at this stage of treatment!
Consider These Useful Extras:
It’s important to keep your teeth & braces clean every time you eat, even after snacks. Which is why some of these extra tools may come in handy when you’re out and about.
We also recommend bringing hand-held individual flossers such as a Platypus Flosser – since these extremely useful, especially when brushing/flossing on the go!
Another useful tool are the Colgate Wisps: WISP® mini-brush cleans, freshens and removes surface stains, and you don’t need water – you never have to rinse! Making it perfect for your backpack or purse.
If you find it inconvenient or uncomfortable brushing in the school bathroom, consider at least swishing your mouth out with a small amount of mouthwash. Pour some mouthwash into a travel-size bottle to keep in your backpack.
Pack the right lunch:
Getting used to eating the right foods with your braces is often the biggest adjustment you’ll need to make. Check out some of our favorite healthy braces-friendly recipes on our Pinterest Page!
In general, stay away from crunchy foods that could break a wire or bracket and sticky, chewy snacks that stick to the braces and teeth leading to possible breakage and encouraging cavities.
Below is a partial list of foods to eliminate or to eat only if cooked or cut into small pieces. Though this lineup may seem long, there are still many, many healthful, delicious choices (click the lunchbox image for some great ideas from foodformyfamily.com!)
• Corn on the cob (off the cob is OK)
• Crunchy snacks like tortilla chips or taco shells
• Hard candy
• Breads with hard crusts, like French bread, and croutons (pizza crusts too)
• Sticky chocolate, caramel or taffy
• Beef jerky
• Solid meat unless it’s cut into bite-size chunks
Some good lunch choices include organic yogurt, bananas and almond butter, tortilla roll-ups (pictured above), soft pastas, rice dishes, soups, most salads (no nuts or croutons), mashed potatoes or yams, hardboiled eggs, soft ripe fruits – and much much more.
Don’t forget to use a mouthguard for sports
Being hit by a ball in the mouth, when the mouth is full of braces, could seriously harm both the braces and the teeth. A simple mouthguard will provide protection that allows your child to continue his or her favorite contact sports. Read up on our oral protection post here to learn about orthodontic mouthguards, and emergency prevention!
Don’t lose your Invisalign tray!
If you are currently in retainers, or wearing Invisalign clear braces, you already know the teen version provides for some replacement trays. There’s a reason for that: A lot of kids forget to put them back in their mouths after lunch and out they go with the trash. Be sure that those retainers or trays are either in your mouth or in your case! Leave your case out on your lunch table as a visual reminder, so they don’t end up in a napkin and into the trash bin.
Don’t Forget to Smile!
Remember that those braces are working hard to help you achieve your beautiful smile!
Whether you have clear or metal braces, Invisalign or retainers – take good care of them, and it will pay off in the end.
Have fun with your braces! At each visit, you can choose different colors bands to go on your braces – maybe the school colors for homecoming, red, white and blue for patriotic spirit, blue and yellow for a favorite sports team :). Before you know it, you’ll be out of these braces, and it’ll just be a memory – so enjoy it!
Tri-Valley Orthodontics is a family orthodontics practice serving San Ramon, Danville and the Tri-Valley area. We provide metal, clear ceramic and lingual braces, Invisalign, retainers and appliances. San Ramon Orthodontists Dr. Ko and Dr. Yoon provide comprehensive orthodontic care for children, teens & adults.