Tips to Help Your Child Smile Brightly with Braces at School
Here at North Shore Orthodontics in Smithtown, we’ve found that many young patients choose summer as the time to get braces first put on their teeth. By starting treatment when school is out, kids have a low-pressure time to get accustomed to their new appearance, allow the initial discomfort to pass, and get used to eating with braces. Now that the new school year is upon us, parents in Long Island have one more thing to do in the back-to-school bustle: help their children in braces make a smooth transition.
Pack a Teeth-Cleaning Kit
We recommend that our patients who wear braces clean their teeth after each meal or snack. It keeps the teeth healthy, and your child will speak and smile confidently knowing there is no food stuck in their braces. As a parent, you should pack a small kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and any picks, rubber bands, dental wax, or other items that your child needs. Your child simply needs to take a few minutes after lunch to do a quick cleaning regimen in the bathroom. The kit can also include a small mirror to check for trapped food throughout the day.
Use a Retainer Case
You’ve probably heard anecdotes about students wrapping their retainer in a napkin in the cafeteria only to discover later that it has been thrown away. It happens all the time! If your child wears a retainer, ask us for a retainer case or even some extra ones, and be sure your child uses them. Retainer cases are insurance against headaches, unnecessary appointments, and spending extra money.
Select Softer Meals and Snacks to Eat
The food in the cafeteria may be too hard or crunchy for kids with braces, so parents should pack a lunch that their children can easily eat. Foods like applesauce, pudding, yogurt, bananas, hummus, cheese squares, meatballs and soups are all good. As long as it’s fairly soft, it should work. Keep in mind that teeth can feel sore after a visit to our office for a tightening. Even approved foods can be rather difficult to eat for a few days, so be particularly mindful in these times.
Offer Some Reassurance
Even children who normally get excited about going back to school may feel a little uneasy about it now that they’re in braces. The self-consciousness will likely pass, but give your child positive, encouraging words about his or her appearance. Also, remind your child that plenty of their friends will be wearing braces too, and have them keep the long view in mind. The treatment they’re in the middle of now will give them a lifetime of straight teeth and beautiful smiles.