Why Should You Care For Your Braces At School?
When the vacations are over, that’s the time of the year parents love, and most students don’t like this because that means it is back to school time. After a long vacation, back to school can be very stressful especially when you just got braces and have no idea how to maintain the care for them when you’re at school. Orthodontic Experts is here to help all the students out there with this same concern. Having a care kit for your braces is the most crucial part of caring for your braces at school. Especially eating the right foods compatible for braces, staying hydrated, if you’re in sport activities wearing a mouth guard, and always brushing and flossing after lunch for your braces care.
How Braces Care Works In Schools
To take care of your braces while you’re at school can be easy if you use the correct essentials. It is a great idea to pack a small bag with the basic oral health essentials to care for your braces. Having a braces kit on hand will help you maintain the care for your braces and avoid most or all dental emergencies that can happen while you’re at school. Your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and rubber bands will be a very usual essential after lunch. However, the dental wax and OTC pain medicine can be handy for any loose wires or brackets. Braces can also give you chapped lips so having lip balm is a very handy tool to keep with you at all times. The best place to keep your braces kit would be in your locker or your backpack. This will save you from lots of trouble in the long run. In this section, we will be discussing the different types of braces care essentials that will help you through the school year while you have braces so you’re on the right track.
Types of Braces Kit Essentials
While most people brush their teeth twice a day, orthodontic patients should brush at least three times a day to make sure that there is no food or plaque that remains on their teeth or braces. There is more to brush when you have braces and you should plan to brush at least four minutes each time.
Including this in your braces care kit for school is very important because a soft- bristled toothbrush will be the most comfortable and safest choice for school. Depending on how you vigorously brush your teeth and the strength of your teeth, a medium and hard bristled toothbrush can actually damage the gums, root surface, and protective tooth enamel. So, it is very important that you use a soft bristled toothbrush while at school for your braces care kit.
It is very important to always carry a small travel sized toothpaste with you in your braces care kit. If the student has braces it is necessary for them to brush their teeth after lunch. However, at the minimum, though, the student may just need to rinse their mouth after eating or snacking at school.
There isn’t a specific toothpaste that the students need to always use for braces. As long as the toothpaste is CDA approved and contains fluoride you’re good to go. You will want to avoid any whitening toothpastes while the student has braces and save the whitening plans for when their braces come off.
Flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you’re wearing braces. This is because braces may hold food, sugars, and liquids upon eating. It is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing while you’re at school. To keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, the student will need to floss at least once per day.
How do you get floss under the archwire of your braces? It is not so hard with the help of a floss threader. We know that flossing can be a pain when you’re at school, but it is very important so you can maintain the best braces care for your teeth. Have the student try a proxy brush for their braces when they floss at school. These are shaped like a Christmas tree and designed to fit in tight spaces in the mouth. Plus, they’re tiny and discreet so no one will notice that you’re flossing.
Wearing your rubber bands is very important to wear and to have for your braces care kit at school. These will improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth/ and or jaws. Rubber bands align your bite and are an important part of your braces. If you don’t wear your rubber bands, the teeth won’t move, the bite won’t be corrected, and the teeth won’t align appropriately. Also, wearing your rubber bands for a short period of time will move the teeth, but as soon as you stop wearing them, the teeth will move back where they came from. Most patients think that they’re wearing their elastics a lot when the reality is that they have them on for a total of twelve hours per day. For the rubber bands to actually work, they need to go on for about 20 hours a day. That is why it is very important for the student to keep them on during the school day and if they break they should have extras in their braces care kit.
Orthodontic wax is a natural wax that protects the gums and inside of your mouth from your braces. When you use it on your braces, it then acts as a barrier that will keep your braces from creating friction against the inside of your mouth. For instance, the way to use the wax for your braces care is to break a small amount of wax (approximately the size of a pea or bean) from the stick and roll it in your fingers to warm and soften it. Then firmly press the soften wax against the area of the braces that is protruding or broken. Once placed, it will cover sharp edges and stabilize loose pieces of the wire or brackets. The orthodontic wax is non- toxic and safe for consumption. It is made this way because you have to put this in your mouth. In fact, orthodontic wax is meant to be swallowed and over time saliva in your mouth causes it to wear off.
OTC Pain Medicine
We suggest taking Tylenol for the soreness of your braces as the other pain medicine slows down the tooth movement. While you’re at school it is important to let the nurse know to hold these for you. Taking Tylenol is one of the best ways to relieve the braces pain. Our office suggests taking these before you go to school, but if it does hurt during the school day go to the nurse and have them give you some to ease the braces pain.
Avoid Food That Can Harm Your Braces
There are a lot of tasty and delicious foods that can harm both your braces and teeth causing you discomfort and even a longer amount of time in your braces treatment. In order to have good braces care please avoid these foods at school; chips, popcorn, gum, apples that aren’t cut into wedges, or sticky, chewy, or hard foods. All of these foods can cause problems for your braces, so it might be a good idea to bring your own lunch or snacks to school in the meantime. It’s important to avoid these to protect your teeth and braces.
Brush and Floss After Lunch
When you’re wearing braces, it gets a lot easier for food and plaque to get caught in or sit on your teeth. It’s never a good idea to let food or plaque sit on your teeth for a long period of time. Brushing and flossing your teeth will prevent cavities, stains, and other dental issues. Also this will help stop the embarrassment of food getting stuck in your teeth. Use your braces care kit after each meal or snack when you’re at school. In the end you will love the result when you have clean teeth and your braces look fabulous!
Attention Sport Players
When you have braces, you need to be extra careful during your outdoor activity because braces can increase the risk of injuries. One hit with a kickball or football to the face can create a painful situation to the gums, teeth, or cheeks with all the metal and wire in your mouth. That’s where the mouthguards come in handy for all the sport players. It is very important for students to wear custom made mouthguards to protect their braces because this will prevent chipped, broken, and knocked out teeth. There is a special “braces mouthguard” that offers essential protection for youth and adult athletes with braces that is specially designed to conform to the upper brace brackets for instant comfort and prevention from lacerations. This is made with 100% medical grade silicone and it adapts to the changes in the mouth structure as teeth adjust. So, do the orthodontist a favor and if you play sports wear a mouthguard.
What Do I Do If Your Brackets or Wires Get Loose at School?
Most patients have already experienced a broken bracket or wire at some point during their orthodontic treatment. Please refer to all the tips above to help you avoid and prevent this issue from happening. We understand that some things might happen regarding your braces care, so use these two tips to help you ease the prevention.
For a broken wire, use dental wax (that should be in your braces care kit) to cover the pointy and sharp ends of the wires. The wax will help keep the wire from cutting the side of your cheek or your gums. After school, visit your orthodontist as soon as possible.
For a loose bracket, you can use an eraser tip on a pencil to push the bracket back into place. You should watch what you eat to keep this from happening in the near future and contact your orthodontist as soon as possible after school.