Bronx, NY – Summer is halfway over already, and no doubt many of you are already starting to make your back to school plans. Amidst shopping for school supplies and everything else that accompanies the school year, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
“The beginning of the school year can get hectic very quickly,” says Dr. Catherine Woo of Riverdale Family Orthodontics. “We know getting back into the swing of things can be hard. Juggling school, extracurricular activities and sports, work and volunteering can make finding time for things like orthodontic appointments even more difficult. But if you start the year making orthodontic visits a priority, it will make your treatment much easier.”
Schedule a visit with your orthodontist for right before you head back to school. At your appointment, your orthodontist can make any adjustments necessary, and be sure your treatment didn’t get off track during the summer. At this appointment we’ll also talk to you about how to manage your braces. Dr. Woo offers these tips to help getting back into the swing of things as easy as possible.
- Don’t forget to brush, even at school. Brushing your teeth at morning and at night is important, but it’s also important to brush after meals. We know school days can be rushed, so if possible, try to schedule some time to brush your teeth after lunch. If find yourself crunched for time, be sure you rinse your mouth well with water to flush away any food particles that remain after eating.
- Speaking of water, pack a water bottle (if allowed) to keep with you during the day. Drinking water throughout the day helps keep your mouth clean and can wash away harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Try to drink only water during the day and avoid sugary beverages.
- Pack a braces care kit to keep in your backpack. Make sure you have the essentials, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, flossers, extra elastics, and orthodontic wax. If you wear Invisalign aligners or a retainer, carry a case with you, too, to avoid accidentally throwing your retainer or aligner away.
- Don’t skimp on wearing your elastics. If your orthodontist gave you elastics to wear, it’s important that you wear them exactly as your orthodontist recommended. They serve an important purpose in the tooth movement process, and if you don’t wear them properly, it could set your treatment back.
- Remember to stick to your braces diet. If you wear braces with brackets and wires, there are some foods you need to avoid. We know it can be tempting to grab a quick lunch or snack while on the go but be sure you don’t opt for anything that could damage your braces. Avoid anything too crunchy, hard, sticky or chewy.
- Don’t forget to protect your mouth! If you play a sport or are involved in an activity that could result in an injury to your mouth, ask your orthodontist about a mouthguard. A blow to the mouth while in braces can be especially damaging, but a mouthguard can protect your lips, cheeks, and teeth, and help cushion a hit. Your orthodontist can give you a properly fitting mouthguard that will offer the highest level of protection for your mouth.
- Don’t skip out on your adjustment appointments. We know your schedule is going to fill up with studying and activities, but these appointments are important to ensure your treatment is progressing as it should. We will always do our best to fit appointments into your schedule. We even offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate your schedule.
“We know that heading back to school is a busy time,” says Dr. Woo. “Schedule your appointment with us now so you’ll be all set to begin the school year confidently, knowing your orthodontic treatment is on track and progressing as it should. Call our office at 718-884-7700.”