Looking after your braces avoids complications, makes them feel more comfortable, and enables you to get the most from your orthodontic treatment. But the summer months can be tricky if you wear braces.

For instance, you may be tempted to indulge in tasty summer treats that aren’t braces friendly. Going on vacation calls for a little more preparation when you’re wearing braces or aligners. And what about taking part in summer sports? Potential problems like these can be overcome if you know how to take care of your braces this summer. You can find out here how to do this, with the help of Irving dentist Dental Concepts & Orthodontics.

Summer Foods That Are Good for Your Braces

Summer meals and snacks are a big part of relaxing and enjoying the warmer weather. And it can be tempting during the summer to indulge in foods that aren’t good for braces. Hard or crunchy foods, for example, can damage braces, while sticky or chewy foods can get caught between the brackets and wires.

There are, though, many refreshing summer foods you can eat without putting your braces at risk.

  • Salads. Salad is a good summer food choice because it’s light and healthy. Some salads are better than others if you have braces. Try soft-fruit salads, macaroni salad, and couscous salad. Avoid crunchy ingredients such as croutons.
  • Fruits. Fruits provide a refreshing, nutritious summer snack. Some fruits – such as bananas and watermelon – are a good option if you have braces. Harder fruits, like apples, should be cut up into manageable pieces.
  • Ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional ice cream if you’re wearing braces. In terms of potential damage to braces, the softness of ice cream makes it about as safe as it comes. Avoid ice creams with nuts, and use a mouthwash afterward to keep your braces and teeth free of sugar build-up.

Other braces-friendly summer treats to cool you down include:

  • Fruit smoothies
  • Iced green or herbal tea
  • Milk shakes
  • Yogurt

How to Care for Your Braces on Summer Vacation

When you’re setting off on summer vacation, it’s easy to leave things behind that you later find you need. This generally doesn’t pose too much of a problem. However, if you wear braces there are some items you should always remember to pack. It’s a good idea to put together an orthodontic travel kit containing the basics you’ll need to take care of your braces and your oral health while on vacation.

Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss – essential to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth and braces. If your braces need orthodontic rubber bands, make sure to pack plenty of extras so you can follow your treatment plan correctly. In addition to your braces and oral health essentials, you should also pack items for dealing with any problems that may arise with your braces during your vacation.

Having these to hand will ease discomfort until you get back home and can visit your dentist to have the problem fixed. So make sure your orthodontic travel kit includes:

  • Orthodontic wax. If a braces bracket or wire starts to poke sensitive areas of your mouth while you’re on your travels, you’ll be glad you packed some orthodontic wax.
  • Tweezers. If a wire on your braces is causing discomfort, you may be able to manipulate it back in place with tweezers, or at least make it more comfortable.
  • Pain relief. Over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol will minimize any temporary discomfort caused by your braces.
  • Mirror. A small, foldable mirror will help you fix any problems with your braces. It can also help to make sure you don’t miss anything when flossing.

Braces and Summer Sports

If you’re the sporting type, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines thus summer just because you have braces. Whether you’re off to summer camp or enjoy sports activities as an adult, there’s no limitation on sports during orthodontic treatment. But you have to be extra careful about protecting your mouth and your braces.

Sports mouthguards are recommended for a wide range of sports. They cushion impact of a blow to the face and are crucial in preventing injuries to teeth, gums, jaw, lips and tongue. Mouthguards also provide a safeguard against concussion. However, regular mouthguards aren’t suitable if you have braces, because they don’t allow for the gradual movement of teeth. You’ll need an orthodontic mouthguard, which has a looser fit than a standard sports mouthguard. Custom orthodontic mouthguards – made from an impression of your mouth ¬– are available from dentists.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sports in which you should wear a mouthguard include:

  • Surfing
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • All types of hockey
  • Basketball
  • Handball 
  • Lacrosse
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Martial arts
  • Volleyball
  • Gymnastics 
  • Weightlifting

Keep Brushing and Flossing

As you’re taking steps to look after your braces this summer, remember the importance of oral hygiene. Younger orthodontic patients in particular may tend to slip out of their regular brushing and flossing routine during the summer break.

When bacteria remain lodged in your teeth and braces, it increases the risk of cavities, teeth stains, and gum problems. So, make sure to:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal, including snacks.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash containing fluoride.

Getting Braces this Summer?

Summer is a good time to get braces if crooked teeth are spoiling your smile. The break from school or work allows greater flexibility so you can focus more on your orthodontic care as you begin your braces journey. The warmer summer months also make it easier to get used to your new braces – cold weather can cause more oral discomfort.

Your Irving dentist provides a type of groundbreaking fixed braces called Fastbraces. As the name suggests, these braces straighten teeth faster than regular braces – in just a few months. So, get your Fastbraces now and you’ll be able to show off your new smile next summer braces free.

Have Fun!

Whether you’re starting an orthodontic treatment or have been wearing braces for some time, you need to know how to take care of your braces this summer. It allows you to have seasonal summer fun and make the most of the warmer weather as your orthodontic care progresses without interruption toward your new straight and healthy smile.