Back to School & Braces: 6 Tips From a Houston Orthodontist

Back to School & Braces: 6 Tips From a Houston Orthodontist

School is back in session and you probably want to look your best for the new school year. Wait! What if you have a mouth full of braces though? Does anyone look good in braces? After all, wasn’t the reason you got those braces in the first place to have a mouth-full of straight pearly-whites?

Not to fear because the Houston Orthodontics office of Dr. Mike Mizell has some tips for you to keep your braces neat, clean, and looking as good as possible while your teeth are getting straightened out.

TIP 1

Apply the 2×2 brushing rule. The rule states to brush your teeth for at least two minutes and twice a day. This is especially true if you have braces since food tends to get stuck in between the metal brackets and wires. If you are worried about your appearance then this is something you want to avoid.

It is advisable to keep a toothbrush in your backpack so that you can brush after lunch. If, however, it is not possible to carry a toothbrush with you to school then you can rinse your mouth out with water after you eat. This will help keep any food from sticking to your brackets and wires.

A soft, bristle toothbrush works best as it does not damage the wires or brackets. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months as braces tend to quickly wear down the bristles.

Most orthodontists recommend using fluoride toothpaste when brushing as this will help keep your mouth cavity-free and will actually strengthen your teeth while you are wearing braces.

TIP 2

Bring a bottle of water to school. Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps your mouth clean and fresh, it also helps fight cavities and tooth decay. These are two things you want to avoid, especially when wearing braces. After all, you are wearing them to straighten your teeth, not to contaminate them with germs and bacteria.

TIP 3

Keep some extra rubber bands (a.k.a. elastics) in your locker. Elastics tend to break easily, so you are going to need a whole bunch of them during the bite-fixing phase of your braces, which tends to be the longest part.

Elastics are very important as they align your upper and lower teeth, as well as your overall bite. Not wearing them will often delay the process, so be sure to carry extra ones for emergency purposes.

TIP 4

Eat foods that will not damage your braces. Food is required to keep your body and mind in good-working condition. This is true for everyone but even more so for students who are both mentally and physically active throughout the day.

Chewy, crunchy, and hard foods damage brace-wires, and so it is best to avoid them. Houston Orthodontists recommend the following foods to bring to school for students wearing braces:

  • Eggs
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt

TIP 5

While it is recommended to bring your own lunch to school when wearing braces, this may not always be possible. If this is the case, purview the school lunch menu to see if they provide any items that are brace-friendly.

Some of the school lunch menu items we recommend include:

  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Lean Meat
  • Cooked Vegetables
  • Be sure to avoid foods like chips and soft drinks.

TIP 6

Be careful with hard fruits as they can severely damage your braces.

While fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, hard fruits like apples and pears can bend the wires and crack the brackets of your braces.

If you are going to eat hard fruits, then cut them into tiny pieces and chew them with your back teeth so they do not come into contact with the metal.

In conclusion, if you follow the above tips you are sure to keep your smile and your braces bright and healthy during the 2017-2018 school year.

As the above tips are not intended to be used as medical advice, if you should have any questions in regards to your or your child’s braces, feel free to contact our office.

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