Summer Orthodontics Survival Guide

Summer Orthodontics Survival Guide

You’ve been anxiously counting down for all the fun, sun, trips, and treats of summer to begin. Before you get your party started, however, we’d like to take a moment to ensure your teeth and braces are adequately protected and ready for the adventures that await you during the long, hot summer. Let’s take a look at some common summer activities and tips to keep your teeth and braces safe all season.

Fun In The Summer Sun

Sunscreen is crucial to protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. But, did you know that your lips also need protecting from the sun? If you’re outdoors, then you should have SPF 15 or higher lip balm to protect the fragile skin around your lips from sunburn, drying, and cracking.

Playing Summer Sports

Most people recognize fall football as a time they need to protect their teeth and braces with a mouthguard. Football isn’t the only contact sport, though. Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities and sports like:

  • Frisbee
  • Cycling
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Waterskiing
  • Volleyball
  • Skating
  • Surfing

These all expose your mouth to contact with hard surfaces, other players, and/or athletic equipment. You should always wear a mouth-guard during such activities to protect your gums, teeth, and braces from serious injury and costly repairs.

Eating Summer Treats

There are a lot of summer foods at fairs, picnics, and cookouts that you should avoid eating, especially if you wear braces or have other orthodontic work. You can do serious damage to your orthodontic equipment with hard, sugary, and sticky foods like:

  • Pretzels
  • Ice cream
  • Hard candies
  • Cotton candy
  • Coated popcorn
  • Corn on the cob
  • Candy-coated apples
  • Coated nuts
  • Jerky

Suddenly, you’ll find yourself sitting in your orthodontist’s office to replace costly wires or brackets instead of enjoying your summer. No one wants to see that happen.

Harder fruits and vegetables can still be enjoyed, but do make sure that you cut them into bite-sized pieces. Corn, for example, can be removed from the cob with a knife, and an apple can be sliced in wedges.

In general, indulging in copious amounts of summertime sugary treats and drinks can wreck havoc on your orthodontic work and cause dental cavities. Enjoy these treats, but make sure you practice moderation. Don’t forget to continue excellent oral care by brushing and flossing regularly and drinking plenty of water to flush stray food particles from your teeth and braces.

Going On Vacations And To Summer Camps

Hours upon hours have likely been devoted to packing just the right clothes, shoes, swimsuits, and accessories to take with you on your summer trips. Yet, so many people get to their destinations and don’t have essentials like a toothbrush.

While oral care and your braces aren’t likely at the forefront of your thoughts when a beach is awaiting, you’ll need to stay on top of your oral health and give it the proper respect. Otherwise, you could prolong the treatment time for your braces or find yourself sitting in your orthodontist’s chair with a serious problem.

Make an oral care kit to take with you when you’re away from home so that none of your supplies are inadvertently left behind. Be sure to include:

  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Orthodontic wax
  • Compact mirror
  • Floss picks and floss
  • Mouthwash

It’s also a good idea to ask your orthodontist for an emergency contact recommendation near the area you’re planning to visit. This will expedite care should you have an orthodontic injury or emergency.

It can be tempting to throw your oral care routine of brushing and flossing two to three times per day out the window during moments of summer fun and relaxation, especially if you have lingual braces that are out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Once you get to your destination, set your oral care kit near the bathroom sink as a prompt for you to remember your teeth and braces as you’re admiring your new tan lines and vacation outfits.

In closing, part of enjoying your summer each year is having a great smile for the pictures that document the trips, activities, and adventures. You don’t want to look back at a picture with regrets that you let yesterday’s summer fun harm today’s smile, right? Keep caring for your teeth and braces with consistent and routine oral care so that next summer will be just as enjoyable as this summer.

Schedule Your Pre-Game Summer Orthodontic Appointment

Do you want to know that your teeth and braces are up to speed for your summer fun? Stop by Blalock Orthodontics in San Antonio or give us a call today. We will be happy to schedule your appointment.