When you first got your braces, your orthodontist probably talked to you about how to take care of them at home—but now you have to go to school with them on, which can be frustrating. Really, though, taking care of your braces can be as easy at school as it is at home. These tips will help make life with braces a bit easier.
Remember Why You Got Braces In The First Place
Although you may not like your braces, they are there for a reason. Your braces are helping your teeth, gums, jaws, and mouth to be healthier. In the end, when you finally get them removed, you will have a beautiful smile that looks and feels a lot better than it used to. Yes, it does take attention and a bit of work to keep your braces clean, but it will all be worth it, so stay motivated!
Think about the tools you use at home, and bring them with you to school. Get a cool pencil case or makeup bag with a zipper, and carry it with you to class. This way, you’ll be ready to take care of your braces at any time. If you know you’ll be stopping by your locker between classes, you can keep your kit there.
You can get smaller versions of your home tools, so be on the lookout for tiny toothbrushes, small containers of toothpaste and floss (plus a flossing needle), and a small mirror. You might also benefit from having one of those collapsible cups and a small bottle of water (for rinsing only!). If you want to keep your breath fresh, a travel-sized container of mouthwash or a spray or breath strips will do the trick.
If you find it hard to clean around brackets and wires, inter-dental cleaning brushes can be a great tool. Extra rubber bands and hooks will come in handy if you wear these. Your chapped lips will thank you for including a stick of lip balm in your kit. Travel packs of tissue will be ideal for drying your teeth before applying wax. Don’t forget your wax and stuff for pain—more on that later.
Although you might not really like the idea of carrying this kind of kit around, it can save you a lot of frustration and discomfort if you get something stuck in your teeth or braces. You can take care of it right away.
Rethink Your Breaks
Whether you have a spare period, a break between classes, or it’s lunchtime, you’ll always want to make room for good mouth braces care. Once you get good at it, you won’t have to be gone long at all. All you have to do is hit the bathroom with your kit after every meal or snack, rinse out your mouth, and give your mouth a good look for any stuck food.
If you find any, give your teeth a quick but very careful floss and brush. If you have pain in your cheeks and gums from a recent adjustment, this is the time to break out your wax. Just break off a pea-sized amount and roll it in your fingers to make it soft and warm. Then, just press the wax against parts of your braces that are painful.
Still getting used to braces or going through adjustments can cause pain that may need a bit of help to get rid of. So, if you need to, your break may be a good time to take your pain medication.
Don’t Change What You Eat
You might have no problem eating the right things for your braces at home, but school can be a completely different thing. Friends might offer you not-so-good snacks, and those vending machines are full of tempting stuff you’re not supposed to eat.
Sticking with those foods approved by your orthodontist will not only keep your braces working the way they should but will also help you avoid a potentially painful situation if something gets stuck that you can’t remove and which irritates your gums.
Just as a reminder, when wearing braces, it’s important to stay away from any foods that are hard or chewy. This includes items like:
- Gummy candy
- Chewing gum
You’ll also want to make sure hard fruit like apples are cut into bite-sized pieces before you eat them. We know you’ve already heard about foods from your orthodontist—but trust us: The last thing you want is to have to deal with the discomfort of a broken wire or bracket at school.
In addition to watching what you eat, you’ll also have to watch how you eat. For example, now that you have braces, you won’t be able to use your front teeth for biting or ripping foods, as you might with a greasy slice of pizza. If there are certain hard foods you love to eat, try eating the softer or more cooked version. A good example is eating applesauce instead of hard apples.
Drink More Water
Keeping yourself well-hydrated is important for keeping your muscles and organs flexible and working the way they should. For those who wear braces, H2O has additional benefits. As we said earlier, rinsing your mouth with water will help to dislodge food particles. However, water will also keep your teeth and braces from getting stained from food and drinks with sugar and food coloring.
Use A Straw
These days, everyone’s got one of those stainless steel straws. They’re good for the environment, but they’re also great if you wear braces because you won’t have to worry about teeth-staining drinks coming into contact with your mouth at all. That also means no plaque formation and less bacteria growing in your mouth, which, ultimately, translates into easier cleaning.
Play Sports? Wear Your Mouth Guard
One thing that can really threaten the health of any mouth is playing sports. This is especially true of those who wear braces because hard hits can damage or break brackets and wires, not to mention cause a more severe injury in your mouth.
You may already have a mouth guard, which you should wear each and every time you participate in sports. If you don’t have one yet, the best person to see is your orthodontist, who can help you figure out if a mouth guard is the best option for you.
Smile, Smile, Smile!
Many people who get braces feel self-conscious about smiling, which is completely normal. After all, your braces have completely changed your look! Yet, you are still you and, anyway, you’re probably not the only one in your school who has or has had braces. Don’t be afraid to smile; your great personality will shine through, and it’ll give you lots of practice for when those braces finally come off!
Quality Orthodontic Care For All Ages
Wearing braces for your teeth means being careful about keeping them and your mouth healthy, but you might also have a lot of other questions that you didn’t find here. The expert orthodontists at Labbe Family Orthodontics can help answer any questions you have.
No matter where you are in Maryland, there’s a Labbe Family Orthodontics office not far away. No matter if you visit our Greenbelt, Bowie, Annapolis, or Crofton/Gambrills locations, you’ll discover the same fun and relaxing atmosphere and staff that always treat you like family.
When you visit Labbe, you’ll benefit from getting all the information you need to make informed decisions about your oral health. Life is better with a smile! Call us today to schedule your consultation: (410) 267-7300.