Your kid got their teen braces this summer. Now it’s time to send them off to school wearing their mouth hardware. How will they fare? It’s a responsibility you’ll have to entrust to their maturing selves. But you can help them get in the right frame of mind and be prepared for any event while they’re working hard away from you.
1. Make sure they have a braces kit.
One of the most important school accessories when you have teen braces is a braces kit. Your teen should carry a small bag with them every day that includes:
- Wax, to put over any protruding wires or brackets until the they can get home and to the orthodontist to get the problem addressed.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and flossing picks, to remove any pesky food particles after lunch.
- Rubber bands, so extras are on hand if one breaks.
- Case, for the person wearing Invisalign Teen or a retainer so they can remove the appliances and keep them safe at lunchtime.
2. Safeguard them for sports.
A mouth guard is important for the teen athlete. It’s especially important to get your kid’s mouth guard remade so it fits properly over the braces and protects them during practices and games.
3. Make lunch easy.
Maybe your child likes to buy lunch in school, but as they adjust to their braces and what they’re allowed to eat, this may be a good time for them to pack lunch with all the foods they can easily eat without damaging their braces or getting things stuck in their brackets or wires. Sandwiches with soft bread, yogurt, steamed veggies, pasta, eggs, French fries, cheese, smoothies, and soup all make the grade.
4. Make sure they have a water bottle.
The best thing for any adolescent to drink, braces or not, is water. Any teen with braces will be grateful for the reusable water bottle that is a constant in their backpack or locker. Not only does water help wash away food particles from teeth, brackets, and wires, it neutralizes acids from foods, protecting teeth from any decay that might develop.
5. Remind them that they’re in good company.
If your teen had time to get used to their braces over the summer months, they’re in a good place going into the school year. They’ve adjusted to the feeling of braces, to the food restrictions, to smiling with braces, and are hopefully well on their way to feeling confident about themselves, metal mouth or not.
If your teen has just gotten braces, however, they’re probably still working on finding their comfort zone in all ways. Remind them that they’re not the only ones in this situation. It’s kind of like kids getting glasses – not everyone has them at first but, give it time, and you’ll find you’re in good company. After a while, people will forget that you’re wearing braces – and with Invisalign Teen or ceramic braces, it’ll be tough for someone to see the braces at all.
Braces for teens are a rite of passage, but they don’t have to be a miserable one. Get support and answers to all your braces questions from orthodontist Dr. Soleil Roberts. Schedule your consultation with Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, Washington.