Summer break is quickly coming to an end, and for many of our patients the new school year will be their first time hitting classes with braces. Are you excited for your friends to see your new grill? Nervous about what it means for fall sports? Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your braces in Queen Creek and San Tan Valley. These can also apply to the workplace or anytime you’re on the go!
Always Carry a Toothbrush and Floss
This is quite possibly our most important tip! Food tends to get stuck in braces easily, as you have undoubtedly experienced. This is problematic not only because it looks unsightly, but also because it contributes to plaque build-up that can be harmful to your teeth. Dr. Peterson recommends brushing your teeth at least three times everyday, and preferably after every meal. Floss can help in the tight spaces where food gets stuck. Taking these steps will keep your teeth healthy, breath fresh, and smile sparkling.
Keep Wax on Hand
Once your cheeks and lips get used to your braces, sore cheeks due to the roughness of braces generally improve and sores occur less frequently. However, every once in a while you may experience some discomfort. Wax is great to have on hand to cover any rough areas or poking wires.
We’ve all experienced chapped lips from our Arizona heat, but did you know braces can also cause dry, irritated lips? It’s a good idea to keep some lip balm in your backpack or pocket to apply as needed.
Us Arizonans know the importance of always having water on hand! This is especially important for people with braces. Water not only hydrates you, but also washes any extra food out of your braces and away from your teeth. It’s important to note that other beverages do not have this same effect. Soda and juice can actually be harmful to your teeth. Water is the best choice!
Carry a Small Mirror
Mirror, mirror in my hand, where did that piece of pizza land? There’s nothing worse than talking to that cute girl or boy in the hall and then realizing there’s a bit chunk of food stuck in your braces. Keeping a mirror handy will allow you to do a quick check to make sure your brackets are free of debris.
Be Mindful of the Foods you Choose
You can eat a variety of food with braces. However, some foods take a little modifying. For example, taking a bite of a ham and cheese sandwich probably won’t break your brackets, but you may have to spend some time digging bread out of them after lunch. Instead, try breaking items like this into smaller pieces to minimize the amount that gets stuck in your teeth. Especially hard foods such as raw carrots or hard candies may not be compatible at all.
If you play a sport or even just participate in gym class, you may want to consider getting a custom mouth guard made. Mouth injuries due to sports are common with braces. Right now Dr. Peterson is offering free mouth guards, so ask him to create yours at your next appointment!
Represent your Team
Choose to match your school colors with your ties at your next appointment. You’ll be one of the most spirited fans at the Homecoming football game with your braces in Queen Creek and San Tan Valley!
Take Advantage of our Flexible Hours and Quick Appointments
Dr. Peterson offers appointments before school, after school, and on Saturdays. Often we can fit you into one of these slots. Since many of our patients attend school, we can’t always guarantee after school appointments. However, our location near several schools and quick wait times will help you get on your way and back to class in no time.
Walk the halls with your braces in confidence this school year with these tips. Good luck, and as always, give us a call if you have any questions of just more tips to help with braces at school!