BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – Returning to school is a busy and exciting time. You get to reconnect with old friends and rehash your summer adventures. You have new teachers, new classes and a new locker. Some of you may even be looking forward to learning what your new classes have to offer. It’s normal to feel nervous butterflies, but we don’t want your braces to add to that stress.
The Bakersfield dentists at Apollonia Dental Center want to make your back to school experience pleasant and fun. Here are some tips to help you deal with your braces at school.
Pack Braces-Friendly Lunches
Packing lunch for students with braces can be challenging, but there are many braces-friendly foods to choose from.
If you’ve just had your braces tightened by the orthodontist, your teeth will probably be sore. Raw carrots, pretzels, nuts and corn chips may cause your teeth more pain and they may even damage your braces. Apples and pears are hard to eat whole, but they can be eaten easily when they’re sliced thinly. Gummy foods such as taffy and fruit roll-ups get caught in braces and stick like glue.
Think of foods soft enough to eat comfortably.
Yogurt is a great option for kids with braces. Our Bakersfield dental patients also like muffins, pasta, quinoa, soup, pudding, avocados, mashed bananas, mashed potatoes, applesauce, coleslaw and soft fruits like strawberries or blueberries. Watch out for sugary foods; you don’t want the sugar to stay on your braces and breed bacteria. Add protein to your meal with beans, meatloaf, tofu, pulled pork, meatballs and tuna. Salsa and hummus are good snacks to bring to school, too, but bring softer pita slices instead of hard tortilla chips for dipping.
Do you have access to a microwave? If so, packing lunches is even easier. Sautéed vegetables are a healthy, soft side dish or even main course. Carrots, squash, zucchini, green beans, onions and bell peppers soften when they’re heated in oil. You can also add spices or pieces of meat to jazz up your concoction. Prepare your food at home one night a week and split it into equal portions. Bring your tasty meal to school, heat it up, and enjoy your home-cooked meal.
Slow-cooking food in a crockpot will make basically anything soft and easy to eat. You can also cook in bulk this way and freeze meals for later.
You’ll want to clean your teeth thoroughly after you eat. That’s where your braces survival kit will come in handy.
Your Everything-Braces Kit
It’s helpful to have all the supplies you need for your braces in one place. Make your own braces survival kit, or browse already assembled kits online. Keep the kit in your backpack or in your locker so you can access it easily.
Here’s what you need:
- Dental wax for sores and scrapes
- Floss made for orthodontic care
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush
- A small mirror to check for trapped food
- A small (or collapsible) cup for rinsing
- Soothing rub or cream that your orthodontist approves
- A spiral dental brush
- Lip balm
Braces-wearers are probably familiar with most of these products. You may prefer a toothbrush made for braces, but a regular toothbrush will be effective too. Lip balm keeps lips from drying out. Optional items include pain medication and interdental picks. Remember to bring a protective mouth guard if you play sports during or after school. Contact your parents and your orthodontist if your braces need repairs.
There is another straightening option that doesn’t include metal and wires. Contact our office to discuss Invisalign treatment for teens. Our Bakersfield cosmetic dentists can go over the best treatment options for you and your family.
We wish you the best of luck with your new school year and with your journey to a straighter smile! If you have any questions, we’re here to help.
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