Back To School With Braces

Tips on How to Clean Your Braces at School

By Dr. Dustin Coles – Premier Orthodontics

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If your kids are going back to school with braces you may be wondering, “Will my child have to brush their teeth at school with braces?” 

This article will answer this question and give you some helpful tips on how to keep your braces clean at school.

Do You Have to Brush Your Teeth at School With Braces?

With braces, food will get stuck in your teeth everytime that you eat; it’s inevitable, no matter what you are eating. So after every school lunch, your kids will have food particles trapped in their braces.  These food particles become a source of food for bacteria. This bacteria can cause…

  • Bad Breath
  • Cavities
  • White Spots or Scars on Your Teeth
  • Gum Inflammation and Gum Disease
Plaque Build Up

These conditions don’t happen in a single day – but let enough days go by without cleaning braces after lunch and your child will very likely see these problems occur.

So, to answer the question, “Do you have to brush your teeth at school with braces?” – we wouldn’t definitely say “Yes!”

How To Clean Braces at School

We get it – finding time and space to brush at school can be tough.  Most kids aren’t making time to go brush their teeth after school lunch. Lunch schedules can be tight and it can feel embarrassing to take time out of your lunch to go brush.  But below we’ll show your child a few helpful tips and tricks that should make cleaning braces at school easier and more convenient.

Take a Travel Toothbrush With You to School

Keep a small travel toothbrush in your backpack, and make a habit of putting this in your pocket when you head to lunch. As soon as you’re finished eating lunch, you can run to the bathroom and do a quick brush.

Not only will this help to keep your teeth healthy, but it will also keep your breath fresh and make sure that you’re not walking around with big pieces of food in your braces!

Transparent plastic toothbrush for travel

We recommend a travel toothbrush that can fold up small, has a plastic case, and can fit in your pocket. It’s easy to store in your pocket or backpack and is ready at a moment’s notice. Most classmates will think you’re just carrying a pen or pencil.

Taking just two minutes a day to scrub your teeth and braces after school lunch will make a huge difference!

Swish Your Mouth Out With Water After Lunch

Swishing with water is a great idea EVEN if you aren’t able to brush. Simply stop by the drinking fountain, get a mouth full of water, and swish.  You’ll be surprised just how many food particles you’re able to remove from the braces simply by doing this one step.

School drinking fountain

We recommend that patients in braces try to brush at school, but if you aren’t able to brush, at least swish with water.

Brush Once You Get Home From School

After you’ve dropped your backpack you probably grab a quick snack from the kitchen. Try to make a habit of brushing your braces right after your snack.  

If you weren’t able to brush in school that day, then you’ve at least removed the food particles from your teeth between afternoon snack time and bedtime.  If you were able to brush at school, the after-snack brushing is still a great idea!

Peanut butter in celery sticks as an after school snack

Other Tips For Managing Braces at School

Aside from just brushing your teeth at school with braces, here are some other tips that will help you get through the school year.

Keep Some Braces Wax In your Backpack at School

The wires or brackets can sometimes irritate the cheek and be uncomfortable.  The easiest way to handle this is to place a small ball of wax over the top of the bracket or wire that is bothering you.  

braces wax

You can keep a container of braces wax in your backpack just in case you need it at school.

Keep an Extra Bag of Rubber Bands In Your Backpack

If you’ve been asked to wear rubber bands with your braces, you should always keep an extra bag of bands close by.  We recommend keeping an extra bag in your backpack so you always know you have them ready to go.

braces rubber bands

Keep a Platypus Flosser in Your Backpack

Now, you don’t HAVE to floss at school (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea)…

…but there will be times that you get some stubborn food between your teeth that a toothbrush won’t work for.  This is where keeping a Platypus Flosser will come in handy.

Platypus Flosser
Platypus Flosser

These small little flossers are perfect for quickly flossing your teeth with braces and would be an easy thing to store  in your bag.

Having braces is a big commitment – and part of that commitment includes keeping your braces clean while at school.  Hopefully now that you’re armed with these tips and tricks you’ll be ready to go back to school with braces!

Braces in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, and Casa Grande

Premier Orthodontics has 6 locations  providing braces and Invisalign in Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Maricopa, Casa Grande, and Glendale as well as the surrounding areas. 

Schedule your free consultation for braces or read our comprehensive guide to the cost of braces . (We are very transparent about our process and our pricing, as you’ll see in this guide.)

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