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Enjoying Your Summer While in Braces

Just because you’re in braces doesn’t mean you have to miss all the summer fun!

Sitting at the beach or relaxing in the backyard with a few friends allows us to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy the simple things in life. If you have braces though, you can’t slack on diligent home care and orthodontic visits. With a little planning, you can protect your investment during the warm summer months.

While our summer celebrations might look a little different this year, cookouts with family and friends are the highlight of many memories. But what’s a cookout without corn, watermelon, and other tasty treats? You might feel left out if you’re wearing braces, but with a little forethought, you can still enjoy these foods. Cut the corn off the cob and remove any seeds from your watermelon slice before enjoying it. Ice cream, soda, and sweetened teas and juices should be kept to a minimum.

Remember that brushing and flossing after each meal or sugary snack will help remove food that can get stuck in your brackets, archwires, and in between teeth. A little extra help from floss threaders and proxabrushes can help prevent permanent staining and tooth decay around the brackets.

Summer sports are a fun way to stay active and work off those indulgent summer treats. If you wear braces, a mouthguard is your best bet to protect your lips, cheeks, and teeth if you get hit in the mouth. There are many styles of mouthguards available in your local drugstore, but they are no match when compared to a mouthguard custom made by your dentist. These are made using an impression of your teeth for a precise fit and can usually be customized with assorted colors, team logos, or designs. It’s important to mention that even if you are injured while wearing a mouthguard, you should still check in with your dentist to be sure the brackets and wires are intact.

Another reason to love summer is the freedom to hop in the car and see where the day takes you. While road trips might require a little more planning these days, quick, simple travel snacks are a fun part of being on the road. Remember that popcorn, hard candy, gum, and other sticky, hard foods are a big no-no and can damage brackets and get stuck in archwires.

Remember to pack an emergency dental kit filled with your toothbrush, flossers, extra wax, elastics, and a small dental mirror so that you can clean your teeth thoroughly during pit stops.

Going through orthodontic treatment can be uncomfortable, and not being able to enjoy your summer favorites can be disappointing. But with a little thought and some preparation, you can still have a fun time.

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