I still have not quite become used to my kids going back to school in early August, as my childhood memories are of returning after Labor Day. But, all three of my kids are back on the school time schedule, and all three of them are in braces. With their minds on school, class mates, getting up and getting ready earlier, I thought now would be a good time to give them and my patients a pep talk to keep up the effort in taking care of their teeth and braces that will continue moving them forward to the end result of an amazing, finished smile. Here are some tips and reminders for all of you heading back to school, and for the parents of these kids:
- In the morning rush of getting ready, reserve a nice amount of time to brush really well around your braces! Not only will this help eliminate permanent staining and gingivitis, but it will help in another area that youngsters and teens seldom think about- it will improve your breath! Kids with poor oral hygiene rarely can detect that their own breath is noticeably smelly, but those around them certainly can!
- Parents- help your kids with the above! My wife an I do a quick check on our kids before they head out the door. Yes, even an orthodontist’s kids are not self motivated to always keep their mouth clean. Oral hygiene, especially with braces added into the mix, is a challenge for most kids and teens, and it need to be a team effort. I tell parents all the time that they are not alone with non-compliant kids… we have three of them that need constant reminding and encouragement. I also commonly hear “They are old enough to remember to do it on their own!”. After treating thousands of patients through the years, I have found this to not be the case. Kids and Teens usually are just not wired like adults when it comes to personal hygiene! Keep the effort up mom and dad- it will pay off, and use the bad breath warning- teens are usually responsive to this based on what others are perceiving of them.
- Now that we are on the school year schedule, parents and all of us here at Meadows Orthodontics have scheduling challenges of our own. Our after school appointments are obviously the most popular for most people, and we have responded by being open an (unheard of!) average of five days a week for after school (and Saturday) appointments in Castle Rock. You will notice a large crowd during these hours, and I am putting in a tremendous effort to be open during these convenient hours as much as possible to accommodate our patient’s busy lives, while keeping care extremely personalized. Every now and then, I will ask for patience if it gets really busy, as I will never reduce the amount of time I need to appropriate to each patient. Every now and then, I may request that we schedule an appointment during the school day for procedures that require even more time than the busy after school appointments will allow. This is our way of giving you the attention you need, while keeping the after school hours free for the larger number of your (and the rest of our patient’s) more numerous “traditional” appointments. Thank you! Just a tip- if you or your child are the type to enjoy a much more quiet atmosphere, the hours from 10-2:00 are much more “calm”! Let us know what hours fit your needs best, and we will make it work.
- Keep wearing your rubber bands as directed! Again, with the rush of starting a new grade, don’t let the task of wearing your rubber bands as much as possible delay your date of getting braces removed. Not wearing your rubber bands during school hours will greatly increase the time that you are in braces, often by many months.
- Don’t forget to keep your appointments with your general dentist for cavity checks and cleanings. Especially when you have kids in braces, it is important to have your professional keeping a close eye on their teeth.
Dr. Dan Rejman is the father of three children (and soon to be a fourth!) in Castle Rock, and understands our local families’ busy schedules. Meadows Orthodontics offers appointments five days a week, all in two Castle Rock locations, and Saturdays also!