Taking Care of Braces and Invisalign at School
When you’re at home, taking care of your braces or Invisalign tray is easy because it’s a part of your everyday routine. But how do you keep up those good habits when you spend all day at school?
The good news is taking care of your braces or Invisalign at school doesn’t have to disrupt your normal routine. Just follow the tips from Reagin Orthodontics for your dental care at school and you’ll get an A from your orthodontist!
What to Do at School If You Have Braces
- Keep a care kit in your locker. You can use a pencil case or cosmetic bag to store items you might need to care for your braces or Invisalign tray at school. Here are the essentials to include:
- Toothbrush and paste. Both of these items can be travel-sized so they don’t take up as much room. You can stop by your locker after lunch and grab these for a quick cleaning.
- Dental floss, threaders, and picks. You don’t want to walk into math class with food stuck in your teeth or braces after lunch. These items are essential for getting to those hard-to-reach spots between and behind your braces.
- Small mirror. You can take a quick look between classes or after a snack to make sure nothing got lodged in your teeth or braces.
- Orthodontic wax. This can ease any discomfort if your parts of your braces irritate your lips, gums, or the lining of your cheeks. Use a piece of the wax to create a barrier between the braces and that sensitive skin inside your mouth.
- Braces-friendly snacks. Chances are, you’ll get the munchies at school. But some items in the vending machine will hurt your braces, so keep some soft foods on hand in case you get hungry or have after-school activities.
- Drink lots of water. Not only does this help you stay hydrated (which is important), but it also helps removes food particles from your teeth. Water also rinses away any sugar, bacteria, acid, or other items that could harm your mouth.
- Build in time to brush after lunch. Brushing at lunch can significantly lower the chances of tooth decay and cavities, so don’t skip this step. If you know your next class is across campus, just grab your care kit, take it to lunch with you, and stop by a bathroom that’s on the route to the class you’ll be going to.
- Keep our phone number nearby. Sometimes emergencies happen. Brackets come loose and wires can become uncomfortable. You can call our office any time and we can schedule a time for you to visit one of our offices.
- Get a mouth guard for sports. Even if you’re just a part of gym class, you can get popped in the mouth. Not only can it be painful, but the hardware in your mouth can cause cuts and damage to the inside of your mouth. And if you play a sport, a mouth guard is a no-brainer. Many athletes lose teeth because they don’t protect them.
- Carry lip balm. When you have braces or Invisaligners, your lips can become dry. The solution is simple: keep some lip balm on hand. Stash it in your locker or backpack for easy access. (Just don’t leave it out in the heat. It could melt!)
What to Do at School If You Have Invisalign
If you wear an Invisalign tray, you’ll need to follow the same instructions as someone with braces. However, there are some differences in caring for them at school. Here’s what you need to do:
- Keep a care kit in your locker. You’ll need to brush your teeth after lunch just as if you had braces. Your aligners can get stained over time if you’re not careful. Putting aligners back in your mouth without brushing your teeth can also increase the likelihood of cavities.
In addition to the items listed above, here are other items you’ll need to include:
- Your case. If you need to take your aligners out (or even your retainer), your case will protect them and help keep them from getting tossed in the trash at lunch or lost during gym.
- Your “outie” removal tool. Sometimes, your Invisalign tray can be tight, especially when you switch to a new set. If this happens at school, you can use your removal tool to remove your aligner.
- “Chewies.” When you first get a new set of trays, they can feel “off” as your teeth get used to them. We can give you some “chewies” (basically small rolls of gauze) for you to bite down on during the first few days. This will help them fit better and give you better overall comfort.
- Brush after lunch. We’ve already emphasized how important this is. Don’t get lazy about it!
- Take out your tray for contact sports. Your Invisaligners will fit your teeth closely, so you don’t have to worry about them falling out during non-contact activities. But if you are a wrestler, hockey player, or similar high-contact sports, you’ll want to take out your tray and put it in its case for safe keeping.
- Hold onto your old trays. Once you’ve moved on to a different set of trays, keep the old ones. If you do happen to lose your current aligner, you can use an old one while we get a new set made and mailed to you. Wearing the old set keeps your teeth from shifting back into old positions.
Caring for your braces or Invisaligners at school doesn’t have to be a hassle. Just follow our tips and call us anytime if you have questions or problems.
Have a great school year!