Health & Fitness

Getting Back-To-School and Back on Track

September 26, 2021

Getting Back-To-School and Back on Track

*I recently partnered with Damon Braces

School is in full swing and like many parents, I’m struggling to juggle it all. Our days are packed with field hockey and football practices, after-school activities, carpooling, PTO meetings, and lots of homework. The kids are struggling and looking to me for guidance. I decided it was time to put the past year behind us and work toward getting the whole family back on track.

If you are struggling like we are, here are a few tips on how to get back on track!

Tip #1 Establish new routines that promote age-appropriate independence

I have learned that kids like responsibility. Being held accountable gives them confidence and helps them develop maturity. Try giving your child the task of making their lunch, packing their backpack, laying out their clothes the night before, or allowing them to bike to school. At first, this may make life more complicated because there will be mistakes, but remember to be patient. Don’t expect perfection. If they make mistakes, remember to commend them for the effort and give them tips on how to be successful.

Tip #2 Remember to schedule annual check-ups as well as a visit to the orthodontist.

Every year, on the first day of school, I schedule my children’s annual check-ups as well as their semi-annual dentist appointments.

I have always felt pretty good about being on top of my children’s health care needs. Then one night, while driving my daughter and her friends to practice, I overheard them chatting about their braces. I realized then that my daughter age 12 and son age 10 should have seen an orthodontist years ago. 

I started to do my research and learned The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of seven. I found out that orthodontists have the specialized training needed to give your child the best results. In addition to dental school, they complete two to three more years of schooling plus thousands of hours of additional training and education. 

I also learned that braces have advanced a lot since we were kids. Metal braces are very different than what you and I remember. Most people—including me—are not aware that there are now modern braces and straightening teeth no longer equates to bulky metal brackets, sore gums, clunky headgear, lots of rubber bands, and tooth extractions. The latest teeth straightening treatments mean less time, less discomfort, and better outcomes. Modern braces like The Damon Braces System offers a unique technology that allows for the constant, slow movement of the teeth. Because of this technology patients usually don’t need to rely on painful tooth extraction to gain the necessary space, even with moderately or severely crowded cases. Patients often experience consistent more desirable outcomes, faster treatment, less discomfort, and fewer orthodontic visits.

Look at these before and after transformations… the kids look amazing!

Photo Credit: Dr. Frost; Patient results may vary.

Photo Credit: Dr. Frost; Patient results may vary.

I called a few local orthodontists and asked a few questions like… What type of braces will you use on my child? Do you need to extract teeth? It was then that I realized not all providers offer modern braces so I headed to to find a provider near me. I’m happy to say that my daughter is scheduled to get her Damon Braces in a few weeks.

Tip #3 The CDC recommends 9-12 hours of sleep for school-aged kids

The CDC guidelines make sense. A good night’s SLEEP better equips us for a busy day. Unfortunately, transitioning from summer bedtime to school night bedtime isn’t easy. Slowly rolling bedtime back is generally more effective than doing it all at once. Allowing my kids 1/2 hour of reading just before bedtime has seemed to help. For those first few weeks, I also suggest giving your kids a little extra time to get out the door. As for me, I set my alarm to wake me 15 minutes before they do….just enough time for a cup of coffee. 

Tip #4 Stay informed on latest school policies

Make sure you are signed up for school newsletters so you can stay informed and up-to-date on the ever-changing school COVID policies. Review COVID policies and procedures with your children so that they know what to expect.

Tip #5 Reduce screen time

Since COVID, screen time for many children has increased beyond healthy limits. Incrementally reduce their screen time, but don’t present it as punishment. Instead, fill their idle time, usually spent gaming, with both fun & productive activities like shopping for cool new school gear, playdates, and fun family activities. 

I hope these tips help! Be sure to share any tips you have for getting back on track in the comments below!

Thanks to the makers of the Damon™ System for sponsoring this blog! The opinions expressed are those of Ereka Vetrini. Ormco™ is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Consumers should seek the advice of an orthodontist. Teeth images have not been altered. Individual results may vary.