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April 20th 2021
Summer is just around the corner. It means freedom for kids and teens, relaxed schedules for parents, and, if you’re lucky, maybe a week or two of vacation. Summertime is also a great time of year to begin the braces journey, especially if you’re a tween or teen.
Adjust on Your Own Time
There is always an adjustment period when you first get orthodontics, whether conventional braces or Invisalign Teen. Your teen can expect some discomfort and tenderness at first, and it’s nice to know that you’re on break and can just hunker down and do your thing at home while getting used to this new temporary lifestyle.
This awkward time will be a lot less annoying when you can do it in private without classmates being privy to the whole experience. Adjusting to eating with braces, cleaning them, and simply living with them takes patience and time. Summer allows confidence to build so that, by the time your kid goes back to school in the fall, this braces thing will be old hat.
Get Used to a New Way of Eating
If your teen will be wearing conventional braces, they will have brackets and wires to contend with around the clock. This means one thing to hungry teenagers – food restrictions. And, often, it’s their favorite foods that get the axe, like popcorn, pizza, and gummy snacks, so there is no chance of pulling off a piece of hardware. But this also means some of the healthier things are off-limits too, like biting into an apple, crunchy carrot, or chewy steak.
The tenderness of wearing braces will also affect a teen’s diet in the beginning because they will only want softer foods that don’t cause them additional discomfort. Be prepared to offer up custards and puddings and ice cream and soups and pastas that are gentle on teeth and braces.
For the kids who wear Invisalign Teen, they can continue to eat whatever they love, but they will also experience some discomfort as they get used to the pressure of the trays and the movement of their teeth, so they’ll be happy to have access to soft and cold summer foods too. No matter what kind of braces a teen gets, they’ll appreciate the room to work through the bumps of a new set of foods and rules at home instead of in the school cafeteria.
Develop a Routine
Wearing braces means your teen’s typical oral hygiene routine is no longer enough. Brushing their teeth morning and night and flossing once a day is the bare minimum, in fact. Now, special tools will be needed to get in between all the hardware so food doesn’t get stuck and lead to decay or stains. There will also need to be more brushing during the day, likely after every meal.
Summer offers up plenty of time to establish a good routine and to become efficient, so it doesn’t take too much time out of your teen’s day during school when they go back in the fall. Summer has fewer distractions and obligations, like homework, to get in the way of a good routine.
Ultimately, every time of year is a great time to get braces, and your teen will adjust no matter what. Find out whether right now is the right time to start your teen’s orthodontic journey. Schedule a consultation with orthodontists Drs. Roberts or de Marsche in Center City, Philadelphia to learn more. Contact us today.