There’s nothing quite like the feeling of summer when it finally arrives. School is done for the year, sunny days seem endless, and everything slows down just a little.
That said, it can be tough to keep a routine in the middle of summer, whether it’s because you finally get to sleep in or because it’s harder to eat right. The same can be true for taking care of oral health, especially with orthodontics.
If you have braces, here are a few tips on how to take care of them through the summer months.
Summertime is usually full of beach days and BBQs. And along with that comes some food that is extra hard on braces and should be avoided. Things like corn on the cob and apples are particularly tough on dental appliances like braces. If you are tempted by foods like this, just remind yourself that the taste is not worth the damage! Besides, corn on the cob will taste even better the longer you wait!
Protect your mouth
Lots of people play sports over the summer, whether it’s a training camp or a fun seasonal league. If you are playing sports, it’s a good idea to invest in a mouth guard. Even low impact sports like soccer can end up in injury, and if you’re not careful about protecting your orthodontics, they can end up damaged and be costly to fix.
Remember your routine
Summer is the time to sleep in, to relax, and to break all kinds of routine. But the one routine you should stay on top of is your oral care routine. Brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing, and going to your orthodontic appointments are all important parts of caring for braces. Just remember, the better you are at keeping up with your braces, the sooner you will get them off.
Skip the sweets
There are so many summertime temptations — ice cream, popsicles, candy of all kinds. And while it’s hard to say no, it’s better if you do. Sweets are full of sugar, which is hard on the teeth, especially if you are wearing braces. Sugar can lead to tooth decay and cavities, and those problems are much more difficult to treat with braces on. If you can avoid indulging in sugary treats, it will be better for your teeth in the long run.
There are a lot of rules when it comes to braces and unfortunately there are no short cuts. Oral care requires saying no to tempting treats, keeping on top of brushing, flossing, and rinsing and making sure your braces are protected from damage.
While it might seem like a big sacrifice, just remember that the better you are at following the rules for braces, the sooner you will have them off. And believe us when we say that when your braces are finally removed and you see your new smile for the first time, it will all have been worth it.
If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth with your braces, let us know. We hope you have a wonderful summer and keep smiling!
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.