Back To School With Braces: A Guide For Teens

Going back to school when you've gotten braces over the summer can be a bit intimidating. You're not sure what your peers will think or how you'll manage to navigate the cafeteria with this extra element of food restrictions. Remember, though, that thousands of kids return to school with braces each year. They're okay, and you will be, too. Follow these tips to make the transition easier.

Prepare a "braces" kit.

Grab a little lunch box or pencil case, and fill it with the following items that you may need to care for your braces and teeth throughout the day. This way, you'll never be stuck without supplies when you need them.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Extra rubber bands
  • Braces wax
  • Chapstick
  • Numbing gel (for irritated patches in your mouth that may make it hard to eat)

Carry a water bottle.

Find a water bottle you love, and carry it with you every day. This way, you can sip water whenever your mouth starts to feel dry and your braces feel like they're sticking to your cheeks. Just make sure you check your school's water bottle regulations before you shop. Some require that bottles are clear or limit them to a certain size.

Tell your friends beforehand.

If you're afraid of the surprised looks on your friends' faces when you smile and they see you have gotten braces, tell them in advance. Send out a Facebook message or a group text to your closest peers, and say something like "I got braces over the summer, guys!" Chances are, they won't care as much as you think. But the fact that they know already will give you some peace of mind.

Pack some braces-friendly snacks in your bag.

You don't want to get stuck feeling hungry halfway through the day because the school lunch had too many items that were tough to eat with your braces. Pack a few braces-friendly snacks, like soft crackers and dried fruit, in your school bag. This way, you can pull them out and snack in case of an emergency. Also, get into the habit of looking up the lunch menu in advance so you can bring your lunch that day if you suspect the entrees will be hard to eat.

Going back to school with braces won't be as hard as you're imagining. Follow the tips above, and within a week or two, everything will feel normal and routine again.