Dr. RJ wants students to have a beautiful smile and a strong bite before they return to school. Here is a great smile checklist that parents can use for their children.
Smile Checklist Tip 1: Visit an Orthodontist for an Evaluation
The summer vacation is an excellent time to arrange an evaluation from our orthodontist, Dr. RJ, to determine if you need to wear braces or aligners. If you do need to straighten your teeth with orthodontic care, then you can become accustomed to the devices before you return to school. Dr. RJ will use X-rays to determine if you can wear aligners or if braces are required instead. Younger children always wear braces, but teenagers can often use aligners to repair mild to moderate malocclusion.
Smile Checklist Tip 2: Stop Bad Habits
When you have bad oral health care habits such as forgetting to brush your teeth before bed or chewing on gum all the time, you should begin to overcome these problems now. You can start the school year with teeth that are sparkling white instead of having discolored dental enamel. By avoiding bad habits, you won’t damage the enamel on your teeth with the constant grinding from chewing gum.
Smile Checklist Tip 3: Wear a Mouth Guard
Before you return to school, you should talk to Dr. RJ about an orthodontic mouth guard for your teeth so that you can play contact sports without worrying about damaging your gums or your teeth. Remember to wear your mouth guard at school sports and for other sport activities.
Smile Checklist Tip 4: Eat Nutritious Lunches
Your parents may serve you nutritious meals at home, but you may make bad choices for your lunch. If you pack your own lunch for school, then choose fresh or packaged containers of fruits or vegetables along with sandwiches that are on whole-grain bread. Buy fresh milk in the school cafeteria, or you can bring along a container of natural fruit juice or water instead.
Smile Checklist Tip 5: Drink a Lot of Water
Drinking a lot of water can keep your soft oral tissues hydrated to prevent a dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, then it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. The average individual requires eight glasses of water a day, but if you are active or if the weather is hot, then you will need to drink much more than this.
Smile Checklist Tip 6: Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing regularly are still the best ways to protect your teeth from dental health issues. Make sure to brush your teeth each morning and again at night, but you can also brush at other times when you have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste. You should also take advantage of the many types of dental flosses that are available to remove additional food debris and bacteria.
Smile Checklist Tip 7: Have a Care Packet for Your Braces or Aligners
When you wear braces or aligners, you must care for the items correctly to avoid disrupting your orthodontic treatments. Dr. RJ recommends having a care package or braces kit with you that contains the items required for your aligners or your braces. Some of these things will include having a plastic case for your aligners, carrying a toothbrush along with toothpaste, a small package of dental floss and having dental wax for your tender lips or gums.
For more questions or ideas to prepare to go back to school, give us a call at (512) 363-5792. To schedule a free orthodontic consultation with Dr. RJ, in Austin, Texas, fill out a consultation request form here.