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James Karpac Orthodontics
Dublin Office

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Mon (Gahanna) 8:00am – 5:00pm
Tue (Dublin) 8:00am – 5:00pm
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James Karpac Orthodontics

Back-To-School Tips For Braces & Line-M-Up™ Patients

It’s that time of year again for teens to head back into the classroom, so here are our tips for braces and Line-M-Up™ students to keep in mind this fall!

ceramic braces are a discreet type of orthodontic treatment


The new school year is here, which means both parents and students are getting back in the swing of things as summer vacation comes to an end.

If your child is new to wearing braces or Line-M-Up™ this fall, then it’s normal to feel a little bit worried about how they’ll stick to their treatment plan when they’re away at school each weekday. Both braces and invisible aligner patients face unique challenges during school days, and below we’ll be detailing what patients need to keep in mind on a daily basis this fall!


Keeping a Treatment Kit Close By


Every student wearing braces or Line-M-Up™ aligners needs to have a treatment kit on them at school, and new patients in particular need to learn how useful these kits can be on a daily basis. By just keeping a few important items in a locker or backpack, patients will be prepared for all sorts of common dilemmas that could come up.

Some of the best items to put in your treatment kit include:


  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Dental wax
  • Dental floss
  • Lip balm
  • Aligner tray container
  • Interproximal brushes


Because wires and brackets will typically hang onto food, braces patients usually need to brush and floss their teeth after eating lunch. The same goes for Line-M-Up™ patients, because they’ll need to brush their teeth and aligners before placing them back in their mouths after lunchtime as well.


Have a Water Bottle For Easy Hydration


Hydration is important for everyone’s oral health, and it’s especially important for orthodontic patients. When you’re drinking enough water each day, you’ll subsequently be keeping food particles off your braces and teeth. And for Line-M-Up™ patients, water is the go-to beverage because you won’t need to take your aligners out to drink it.

When orthodontic patients want to drink fruit juices or sugary sodas, it’s important to use a straw and always take out aligners beforehand!


Habitually Eating Braces-Friendly Snacks & Lunches


One of the biggest learning curves that braces patients tend to have is the food restrictions, and being in school can make these types of restrictions harder.

Sticky, chewy and crunchy foods should generally be avoided when wearing braces, because these products often damage brackets and wires. Although avoiding these foods can be easier at home, temptations and general access can make certain snacks seem pretty alluring.

The best thing that parents can do in this scenario is to check out the school’s lunch menu, and provide recommendations when necessary. Packing a lunch is also a good idea, because it keeps some consistency with a student’s diet. One important tip for packed lunches is that preparing bite-sized pieces is typically best for braces patients, because this will make post-lunch brushing and flossing much easier.

And although Line-M-Up™ patients don’t have any dietary restrictions, it’s crucial to remember that there may be some slight discomfort during the first day or two of each tray cycle. During these days, it may be easier to bring softer foods to school, including soup, smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt.


Maintaining Oral Hygiene


We all know how important oral hygiene is, but these habits are increasingly more important for both braces and invisible aligner patients. A lot of us in the United States think that brushing twice a day is normal, but this is actually the minimum requirement for proper oral hygiene upkeep.

Did you know that a lot of people in other cultures like Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay carry toothbrushes on them to school, and even to work as professionals? Brushing three times each day is actually more common than most Americans would assume, and after-lunch brushing is a great habit for orthodontic patients to adopt.

For Line-M-Up™ patients, brushing both your teeth and aligners helps keep your treatment more sanitary. It also helps you to avoid cavities and excessive plaque buildup. And for braces patients, brushing after lunch is important to keep food particles out of brackets and wires.

Each patient’s treatment kit will come in handy for maintaining oral hygiene during school days, and you’ll likely be surprised by just how much you enjoy having a clean mouth after lunch each day. So, brushing three times per day is a great habit for orthodontic patients to develop, and it might even continue after your treatment is over!


Having a Mouthguard Ready To Go


Mouthguards are particularly important for braces patients, and they should be used during gym class, recess, and during other extracurricular activities like sports.

No one wants to cut up their gums or cheeks with their braces, and orthodontic mouthguards are an easy way to prevent injuries and guarantee more fun while playing sports!


Meeting Daily Line-M-Up™ Wear Time


Every Line-M-Up™ patient has to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours each day, which can sometimes be easier said than done. There are certain wear time barriers that parents and students should be aware of, and here are some tips to help patients consistently wear their aligners for the full recommended time:


    • Parents and students working together to overcome temporary speech impediments. It sometimes takes patients a few days to get used to their invisible aligners, and it’s perfectly normal for patients to temporarily develop a slight lisp during this stage. These lisps are always temporary, but for teenagers, even the most temporary lisp can be embarrassing. Parents can help their kids by encouraging them to speak a little bit slower during this initial stage, and they can also help them practice their annunciation on certain, lisp-triggering words.


    • Provide remedies for dry mouth and bad breath. The tough truth is that there’s no easy cure for dry mouth or bad breath, but teens can manage these types of symptoms by staying hydrated and maintaining their oral hygiene as much as possible. This can include going a step further than simply brushing and flossing after each meal, because tongue scraping and chewing sugar-free mints can also go a long way to support bad breath.


    • Teaching patients discomfort and pain management. Another very common wear time barrier for Line-M-Up™ patients is their general discomfort while wearing new aligner trays. One way to alleviate this type of discomfort is to use dental wax, and to thoroughly rinse with a peroxide-based mouthwash.


Reach Out To The JK Orthodontics Team To Learn More Back-To-School Tips For Braces And Line-M-Up™ Patients!


JK Orthodontics has supported teenagers and students of all ages for over 30 years, so we’re prepared to help both parents and kids be ready for this new school year.

Contact us online or call us at 614-766-0330 (Dublin office) or 614-471-6355 (Gahanna office) to speak with our team today and ask us any questions you have about making the most of your orthodontic treatment journey this fall!