The first day of school has arrived and if you or your child got braces over the summer, making braces-friendly adjustments to your routine will be a new experience. Since your orthodontist does the hard work of moving braces – there are only a few things you should do to make sure you’re on track for a beautiful smile at the end of your treatment. Get prepared for going back to school with braces with these four tips.


Braces survival kit

The main thing that will come in handy while you’re out and about is a braces survival kit. Find a small pouch that you like and stuff it with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, proxy brush, ortho wax, and some pain relief meds (I would remove this since many schools put restrictions on bringing meds to school). These are all the things you’ll need to keep your braces clean and your mouth pain-free during school.

If you wear a retainer, put it in a brightly colored case while you eat – the more noticeable it is, the less likely you are to forget it or accidentally throw it away.


Braces-friendly lunch

It’s important to avoid foods that are hard, sticky, gooey or extremely crunchy while you have braces. If you’re nervous that your provided school lunch won’t have enough options for you, try packing a lunch instead. Soft, healthy foods like bananas, apple sauce, yoghurt and string cheese are all great choices. Try cutting your sandwiches and fruit into small, bite-sized chunks to make chewing easier and to get less food stuck in your braces.

Expert tip: If you’re worried about having food stuck in your braces while eating, flip your phone into selfie mode to do a quick check.

If you have clear aligners, fill an extra cup with water and soak your trays while you eat – just make sure you don’t toss the cup with your food when you’re done!


Easy cleaning

You’ll remember your orthodontist telling you to brush after every meal. This still applies while you’re at school, so try to build an extra five minutes into your lunch break to head to the bathroom. Team up with friends that also have braces to make your brushing trips a fun, social affair.

Expert tip: Swishing water around your mouth after eating will help to dislodge any large, loose food particles before you brush.


Protect your smile

If you play a sport, it’s important to protect your teeth as you would your head. A mouth guard will prevent any possible damage to your lips, teeth or gums if you fall while playing, and it will keep your braces out of harm’s way, too – no one wants to pull out a bracket during practice!