female high school student with braces

September 14, 2015

Back to School with Braces

It’s hard to believe, but the summer season is fading away and the brand new school year is underway. Returning to school while wearing braces will be a new experience for many of you. The good news is that you’re certainly not alone. Many of our patients’ new school attire includes braces. Our Seattle orthodontist Dr. Jorge Peralta and his staff want all of our school-aged patients wearing braces to make a smooth transition into the classroom! That’s why we’d like to offer up these tips for making that adjustment easier. Ready? Here goes!


Take Along a Braces Care Kit


It’s a great idea to take along a small “braces care kit” in a zippered pouch that you can keep in your backpack, locker or desk. Include essential items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threader, dental wax, a small mirror and some spare rubber bands if you wear elastics. Then after lunch, you can step into the bathroom and brush and floss your teeth.


Pack Braces-Friendly Lunches


One of the biggest challenges you face while wearing braces is choosing the right types of foods to eat. If you carry your own lunch to school, make sure you only pack braces-friendly foods. Avoid taking along foods that are difficult to eat and which can damage or break your braces like hard, crunchy, chewy and gooey foods. You can still pack things like fruits and sandwiches as long as you cut these items into bite-sized pieces before eating them. Some good lunch choices include yogurt, cheese, bananas, pasta dishes, soups, salads, mashed potatoes, melon and eggs.


Don’t Skip Those Orthodontic Appointments!


It’s easy to cancel appointments when you’re busy with school and all the activities that you’re involved with like clubs and sports teams. But you should never skip the appointments you have as they are very important. If you do cancel appointments, your time spent in braces will most likely be prolonged and your treatment may even be compromised. Good planning is key so make sure you always leave time in your schedule to come to all your orthodontic appointments.


Emergencies – How to Deal with Them


The good news is that it is rare to have a true orthodontic emergency. However, it is possible that something can go wrong like a loose wire that pokes and irritates the inside of your mouth. If this does happen, don’t panic! Just use a blunt instrument like the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to carefully and gently push the irritating part out of the way. If the irritation continues, place dental wax (or wet cotton) on the wire and then call us as soon as possible for an appointment. If any part of your braces comes off, save it and bring it along with you to your appointment.


Take Good Care of Your Retainer


If you’re in the retention stage of your treatment and are wearing a retainer, it’s important to wear your retainer as directed and to take good care of it. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should always be in a retainer case. Most retainers are lost in school lunchrooms as many students wrap them in napkins when eating and throw them in the trash by mistake. Clean your retainer at least once per day using toothbrush and toothpaste. If you lose or break a retainer, call us right away so we can replace it and remember to always bring your retainer to the appointments you have with us.


The team at Peralta Orthodontics wishes all of our school-aged patients good luck in the 2015-16 school year! We’re always available to speak with you so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us during regular office hours.