Bronx, NY – It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over, and, in a blink, students will be heading back to the classroom. If one of the things you did over the summer was begin orthodontic treatment, you may be looking for some tips to navigate school while in braces or wearing Invisalign. Dr. Catherine Woo of Riverdale Family Orthodontics offers tips for heading back to school while in orthodontic treatment.
- Pack a braces care kit in your backpack. It’s important to take proper care of your braces or aligners, even when in school. Keeping a kit prepared with the basics will help you. In a small bag, pack a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax, and anything else you need to help keep your smile healthy while at school. Having the tools you need can help you take care of your smile, keep your braces or aligners in proper working order, and ensure your treatment stays on track.
- Drink water. We know that school days are busy, and you may grab a quick snack to stay fueled for the day, without the opportunity to be able to brush right after. Keeping a water bottle with you can help rinse away food particles to prevent them from sticking to your teeth, braces or aligners. Water is the best option to prevent staining of your color ties and aligners if you cannot brush right away. Remember, if you wear Invisalign, plain water is the only thing you can drink with your aligners in – other beverages can stain your aligners. Make sure you brush the first chance you get when you get home.
- Stick to a braces friendly diet. If you have standard braces as your treatment, you’ll need to remember to avoid certain foods, including anything to sticky, crunchy, chewy or hard. These foods can damage your brackets and wires and cause discomfort with poking wires. Prep your meals and snacks to ensure they are braces friendly.
- Know what to do in case of a minor braces’ problem. Sometimes, even when we follow the advice of our orthodontist, damage can still happen to your braces. Know what to do if you experience a loose bracket or wire.
- Don’t forget to look in the mirror. Braces create a lot of nooks and crannies that can trap food. After eating and brushing, don’t forget to look in the mirror to be sure there’s no food debris left behind or stuck in your braces.
- Protect your braces and smile. If you play sports, a mouthguard can prevent damage to your cheeks, gums or mouth.
- Remove your Invisalign aligners when eating. It can be tempting to leave your aligner in when eating, especially if you’re just having a quick snack. However, eating with your aligners in can damage them, so be sure you always remove them before eating or drinking anything but plain water.
- Keep a carrying case handy for your Invisalign aligners. When you remove your aligners to eat, be sure you place them in a sturdy case instead of setting them on a napkin or something similar. You may forget and accidentally throw the napkin away, but a carrying case will be easier to see and remember.
Returning to school in braces shouldn’t add additional worry or anxiety for students. Being prepared will help and ensure that no matter what arises during the school hours, you’re ready to tackle it head on. In no time, caring for your braces while on the go will be an ingrained part of your daily life.
Dr. Woo and her team at Riverdale Family Orthodontics are here to help ensure your orthodontic journey is as easy as possible. If you have questions about your treatment or how to best care for your smile while back in school, call the office at 718-884-7700.