Summertime is here at last! Are you as excited as we are about all the sunshine, swimming, and sleeping in that’s about to happen? Some of us are planning to travel like many families do this time of year. If you and your family are planning on doing any jet-setting, roadtripping, or cruising in the coming months, it’s important to remember your braces need a little TLC to ensure your treatment isn’t disrupted.
By thinking ahead, you can get through the summer with your braces and your treatment schedule intact. Brodsky Orthodontics wants to help you have fun while keeping your mouth in good shape, so take a look below for a few hints and tips on how to handle caring for your braces while you’re out living your best life this summer!
Caring for Your Braces On the Go
Sometimes problems crop up with braces while you’re out and about, which can be an inconvenience. However, many of these issues can easily be fixed with a little know-how and a few common household items. If you experience any of the following this summer, give these simple solutions a shot!
General mouth irritation
Occasionally, you may have some non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums. Orthodontic wax is an easy way to tackle this! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, then pinch a small amount of wax off, roll it into a ball, then flatten it before placing it over the source of irritation to provide relief.
If you have a wire come loose, it can irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed by using the eraser end of a pencil to nudge it back against the teeth until it flattens out. A piece of orthodontic wax over the wire can also reduce irritation and provide some extra stability.
Loose brackets can be a problem, so you should let us know about it as soon as possible if you have one. We’ll decide together what the next step should be, but in the meantime, you can slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth, or use wax over the bracket to add stability.
Keep Your Emergency Contacts Close at Hand
Before you head out on your summer adventures, make sure you have our contact information handy! This way you can give us a quick call if you run into any unexpected orthodontic emergencies, and we’ll be able to walk you through the next steps you need to take. In most cases, you won’t need to see us for a follow-up appointment until you’re home, but we can also help you over the phone or find an orthodontist near you if you do need to be seen immediately.
If you can, get a good picture of the problem and text/email it to us before you call. This will give us the chance to assess what’s happening much more quickly and accurately, so you can get back to having fun!
Carry a Travel Kit with You Wherever You Go
Whether you’re keeping it close to home or traveling around the world, it’s a good idea to keep a small bag of basics with you to care for your braces. Besides the expected items like fluoride toothpaste, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss or a waterpik, include helpful items like:
- Orthodontic wax or Gishy Goo, which is a silicone-based product that’s similar to orthodontic wax
- An over-the-counter pain reliever, just in case you experience any swelling or soreness (but check with our doctors first!)
- An unsharpened pencil, so you can use the eraser on any protruding wires
Once you have all the items you need, put them in a small bag then toss it in your purse, backpack, or suitcase so you’ll have it close by anytime you need it!
Stick to Summer Treats That Are Safe for Your Braces
Between backyard BBQ’s, sleepovers, and weekends around the pool or at the beach, summer is full of tempting treats. But making smart choices now will pay off for you once your braces come off and we reveal your beautiful new smile! Remember to avoid anything that’s too crunchy or chewy, such as ribs or any meat that’s still on the bone, corn on the cob, popcorn, plus any sticky candy, cake, or cookies. It may feel like you’re missing out, but there’s still plenty of delicious classics you can safely indulge in, like coleslaw, potato salad, grilled veggies, baked potatoes, and ice cream.
Maintain Your Dental Hygiene Routine
It’s easy to get a little lazy in the summer. We fall out of our school year routine, staying up too late and sleeping in half the day. While this isn’t too big a deal, when it comes to your braces, it’s extra important that you maintain your usual care and cleaning routine. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using your waterpik regularly if you have one. Even though slacking off is totally expected over the summer, we recommend you keep your oral hygiene routine on track for the sake of your smile!
Enjoy Your Summer
Whatever you and your family have planned for this summer, you can keep your braces protected and your smile looking great by following the tips we’ve outlined above. All of us here at Brodsky Orthodontics hope that the coming months are full of lots of fun, laughter, and memory-making for you! Remember that our team is always available if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan. We’re here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams in any we can!