Summer vacation. The time of year when everyone’s schedule becomes a little lighter and you take time to relax and do the fun things you don’t have time for the rest of the year, like going to amusement parks and taking family vacations.  But just because you don’t have to go to school doesn’t mean you should neglect your teeth. Here are some tips to ensure your teeth have a great summer too.

Keep up With Oral Hygiene

With no classes or homework to worry about, summer is a great time to kick back and stress less, but that doesn’t mean you can stop taking care of your smile. It is still very important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and preferably after every meal. If you absolutely can’t brush after a meal, at least rinse your mouth out with water to remove some of the food and drink residue from your teeth. Continue to floss as instructed and use mouthwash regularly to remove even more food particles and bacteria that can cause issues if left on your teeth or braces.

Avoid Foods That Can Damage Braces

No one wants to spend their summer vacation getting their braces fixed, so do your best to keep yours in working order. Eating the wrong foods is one of the main causes of problems with braces. To avoid extra trips to the orthodontist, steer clear of these foods, even in the summer:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples or pears that aren’t cut up first
  • Anything sticky or gummy
  • Hard pretzels or rolls
  • Nuts

Pack a Travel Kit for Your Braces

If you’re headed out of town, don’t forget to pack everything you will need for your smile too.

  1. Toothbrush
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Dental floss
  4. Mouthwash
  5. Small mirror, in case something feels wrong and you need to see what’s going on
  6. Orthodontic wax to coat the end of a poking wire
  7. Extra rubber bands
  8. Your previous Invisalign tray or the next one in case something happens to the one you are currently using.
  9. Case for removable appliance or retainer to keep them sanitary and safe.
  10. Headgear (As tempting as it can be to take a break from wearing your headgear over the summer, we strongly recommend you continue to wear it to keep your orthodontic treatment on track.)

If You Have an Orthodontic Emergency While out of Town

If you have an issue with your braces over summer break and you’re in the Charleston area, come see us. We’re happy to work you into our schedule if you are having problems of any kind. If something happens to your braces while you’re gone, try these tricks to keep you comfortable until you get back:

  • If a bracket breaks, it is best to try to live with it until you get back and see us. It most likely won’t cause much pain or discomfort, it will just feel a little loose until you get it fixed.
  • If a wire comes loose, try pushing it back toward your teeth with the eraser on a pencil or the back of a spoon. If it can’t be coaxed back into place and is poking your cheek, tongue or gums, coat the end with wax to keep you comfortable until we can repair it for you.

We know summer fills up quick with vacations and other fun plans, but it is still important to keep your appointments. If you find you have a conflict with a scheduled time, call our office as soon as possible to reschedule. We know how much summer vacation means to families and we’re happy to work with you.