With summer vacation in full swing, we’ve been all about getting out in the sunshine, sleeping in, and swimming as often as we can! A few of us have also been traveling here, there, and everywhere, something many families do this time of year. Whether you’re setting off on adventures across the country or around the world, we want you to have the time of your life without losing sight of your orthodontic goals. That means keeping up with caring for your braces so your treatment isn’t interrupted, even if your regular routine is!
To get you through any jet-setting, road-tripping, or sightseeing you have planned in the next month or two, the Bennett Orthodontics team has put together a few helpful recommendations. These will help you enjoy all your normal activities and keep your smile in shape at the same time! Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite hints and tips on the best ways to care for your braces while you’re living your best life this summer.
Have an orthodontic travel kit handy
No passports are necessary to take advantage of an orthodontic travel kit! Even if you’re keeping things close to home until school is back in session, it’s a good idea to keep a small bag of basics with you at all times to help care for your braces. You’ll want to include the obvious items like fluoride toothpaste, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss or a waterpik, but should consider adding other helpful items, too, such as:
- Orthodontic wax or Gishy Goo, a silicone-based product that’s similar to orthodontic wax
- An over-the-counter pain reliever, in case you experience any swelling or soreness (just be sure to check with Dr. Bennett first!)
- An unsharpened pencil or two, so you can use the eraser on any protruding wires (we’ll explain more about that below)
Place all these items in a small bag, then throw it in your backpack, purse, or suitcase. This way they’ll be easy to access any time you need them!
Know how to care for your braces when you’re on the go
You may occasionally have a problem crop up with your braces while you’re out and about. This can be inconvenient, but fortunately, many of these minor issues are easy to fix with a little know-how and a few common household items! If you find yourself experience any of the following this summer, try these simple solutions to sort them out.
General mouth irritation
Non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums isn’t uncommon over the course of your treatment. Orthodontic wax is an easy way to get some relief! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, then pinch off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball. Flatten this ball and then gently but firmly place it over the source of irritation..
Occasionally, a wire may come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. Did you know that this can be fixed with nothing more than an ordinary pencil? It’s true! Simply use the eraser end to nudge it back against the teeth until it flattens out. You can also place a piece of orthodontic wax over the wire to reduce irritation and provide extra stability.
Loose brackets are a problem we need to know about as soon as possible. Once you let us know what’s happening, we’ll help you decide what the next step should be. In the meantime, however, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also add stability.
But just in case you do need us…keep our contact details close by!
While there are plenty of things you can handle on your own, you may sometimes have an orthodontic problem that requires immediate attention. Before you head out for your summer holiday, make sure you have all of our contact information in your phone or written down somewhere, including phone numbers and our email address. If you happen to run into an unexpected emergency, give us a call and we’ll be happy to walk you through the next steps you need to take.
For most problems, it will usually be safe for you to wait until you’re home to follow up with us in the office. However, we can also help you over the phone if needed. If for any reason we feel you need to be seen right away, we’ll find a qualified orthodontist nearby and follow up with you when you’re back in town.
If you’re able to, get a clear photograph of what’s happening, then text or email it to us before you call. This gives us a better chance of assessing what’s happening more quickly and accurately, so we can get you back to having fun as soon as possible!
Stick to treats that are safe for your braces
Between backyard BBQs and pool parties, not to mention the numerous sleepovers, summer can certainly come with a variety of tempting treats. While the food restrictions that come with braces can make them a little tricky to navigate, making good choices now will be more than worth it when your treatment is complete and we reveal your incredible new smile!
To protect your braces and your smile this summer, avoid anything that’s too crunchy or chewy, like ribs, corn on the cob, popcorn, plus any kind of sticky candy, cake, or cookies. Although that may seem like a lengthy list of things to miss out on, there are still tons of delicious classics you can safely indulge in while wearing braces, including coleslaw, potato salad, grilled veggies, baked potatoes, and ice cream!
Don’t forget your dental hygiene routine
Summertime is all about letting go of our school year schedule, so it’s easy to get a little lazy. Remember, though, that it’s extra important that you maintain your usual care and cleaning routine as a braces patient. We recommend you brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time, floss daily, and use your waterpik regularly if you have one. Keeping your oral hygiene routine on track keeps your treatment progress on schedule, too!
Have a safe and happy summer!
Whatever exciting adventures you have planned this summer, do your best to keep your braces protected by following the tips we’ve outlined above. You can also always count on our talented team for expert support and advice if you ever have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan. Bennett Orthodontics is here to help you achieve a healthy smile, not just this summer, but all year long!