It’s hard to believe that the new school year is upon us already. This summer has really flown by, and now it’s time to get ready to hit the books once again. While we stock up on our kids’ school supplies, wardrobe, and sports equipment for the new school year, it’s important to remember to keep a healthy mouth on that back-to-school checklist. This is especially true for those undergoing orthodontic treatment, who need to pay a little extra time and attention to the care of their teeth.
At Pinecrest Orthodontics we want to make sure your student gets off to the best start possible this school year. As such, here is our back-to-school orthodontic survival guide to keep them smiling from now until next summer…
2+2= Sparkling Teeth
Remember this easy math problem when it comes to maintaining good dental health. It is important for everyone to brush at least two times per day, for two minutes each time. It is especially important to brush before bed, as bacteria on the teeth throughout the night can lead to tooth decay. Flossing daily is also essential to keep gums healthy. And for those with braces, brushing three times daily is recommended as food collects around the appliances, potentially leading to permanent stains on teeth.
Maintain Regular Dental Visits
Although we are so busy during the school year, it is important to keep up with regular visits to the pediatric or general dentist. Appointments should be scheduled in at least twice yearly, so teeth can be professionally cleaned and checked for cavities. Oral hygiene techniques can also be reviewed and reinforced with the dentist. This is particularly important if your child has braces, as they are more susceptible to cavities and gum problems if dental hygiene is lacking.
Pack a Braces Care Kit
Maintaining great oral hygiene with braces and even Invisalign means keeping teeth clean during school hours. Thus children should have a kit in their backpack or locker that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and floss threaders, a compact mirror, orthodontic wax, and elastics (if they are wearing rubber bands). Having this kit handy will make it easier for kids to keep teeth clean while at school and especially after lunch.
Pack a Water Bottle
Send kids with a bottle of water to school, as drinking water throughout the day helps keep them hydrated as well as maintain a clean mouth. Not only does drinking plenty of water help to clear away and food pieces that might be hiding around braces, water helps to neutralize the acids from the foods we eat, which keeps mouths healthier. It is also important to avoid sending kids to school with juices, sports drinks, or sodas, as the cavity-causing sugars in these drinks are so harmful for the teeth.
Make Lunches Healthy
Check out your child’s school lunch menu every week to make sure something is being offered every day that he/she likes (and which is healthy and orthodontic friendly). Great options include pastas, mashed potatoes, lean cuts of meat, cooked vegetables, and yogurt. Anything crunchy, sticky, chewy, or hard should be avoided, as they inevitably will lead to broken orthodontic appliances. It is also recommended to avoid foods and drinks with high sugar content. Pack your child’s lunch to take with them if the school-offered options aren’t right.
If your child plays sports, particularly any sport that might cause injury to the mouth, a properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of equipment. This includes contact sports like football, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. Mouthguards will not only protect your child’s braces, but his/her teeth and jaws, too. If your child played sports that require a mouth guard before getting braces, they’ll need to have a new one made now, especially if they used the molded option. Keeping kids’ teeth safe is so important to us at Pinecrest Orthodontics that we are offering free Shock Doctor mouthguards to those interested. Call our office for more details!
At Pinecrest Orthodontics we want the best for your child and hope the back-to-school transition is a smooth one. We wish you good luck in the 2018-2019 school year and hope to help you properly care for your teeth and braces every day! Contact our office with any questions or to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.
Pinecrest Orthodontics is located in the Dixie Belle Shops at 12197 S. Dixie Highway Pinecrest, FL 33156. 305-423-4130. www.pinecrestortho.com