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Back-to-School With Braces: A Parent’s Guide

You’ve bought them new clothes, a backpack, binders, folders, pencils, maybe even a new phone or computer, oh, and one other thing — braces. Whether your child wanted them or not, they are heading back from summer vacation for a year of learning along with teeth straightening. Here are some tips to help them, and you, get through the year.

Schedule Appointments As Regularly As Possible

Depending on your child’s treatment plan, and their progress seen at each appointment, you may need to be seen again sooner than usual. When you do make those follow-up appointments, work with the receptionist to schedule them with some kind of regularity. 

For example, always schedule them on Thursdays or always at 11AM. This way, you can try to schedule office visits on days and times that avoid any other important events, like after school activities. It also helps your child (and yourself) remember when the next appointment is if there is a regular cadence to it.

Get Them The Supplies They’ll Need

There’s more to having braces than just the braces. Your child will need some other supplies and tools to help them keep their teeth clean and braces comfortable. Here’s a list of what they’ll need:

  • Dental wax
  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss and/or proxy brushes
  • Extra rubber bands (if needed)
  • Aligner/retainer case (if needed)
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever 
  • Reusable straw

Dental wax is very helpful when the wires are poking against your child’s gums, which can be painful. Having a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand at school as well as floss or proxy brushes will help your child clean out anything stuck in their braces after lunch. If your child’s treatment plan requires rubber bands, extras are a must in case any break. Having a few over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any soreness is an option as well. A reusable straw is handy for drinks, especially for patients with rubber bands or aligners, and helps the environment!

Be There For Them

This can be a tough time for kids and teenagers. They may feel insecure or embarrassed about having braces or worried they’ll be bullied. Let them know that while their feelings are understandable, they are not alone. There is no doubt many of their classmates will have braces too, so their braces won’t stand out. If you had braces when you were younger as well, share your experience with them, and let your child know it’ll all be worth it.

Talking with other parents, whether those of your child’s friends or even ones you meet in the orthodontist’s lobby, can also be helpful. Find out how they are handling this change and share tips.

At Amazing Smiles, you can always come to us if you need any help, too. We’re passionate about supporting our community and our kids – we’re in this together!