Lazy Days of Summer—But Not When It Comes to Caring for Your Braces

For kids and teens, summer is for hanging out, catching some sun, getting some exercise, and most importantly—taking a much-needed break from homework.

There is one thing you can’t take a break from this summer, though… Your smile requires year-round attention! Especially when you’re undergoing treatment with braces, it’s essential that you know how to maintain oral hygiene throughout the summer.

The last thing you want to experience is some bad braces hygiene. Save yourself (and your friends) from the bad breath that comes with neglecting your smile. Here’s how!

1. Keep travel toothpaste and a travel toothbrush on hand.

You’ll thank yourself later! Think of how many times you’ve noticed a piece of food stuck in your teeth or around the gumline. The moment of realization that you’ve been smiling for hours with a piece of green food or a black speck in your teeth is not an enjoyable moment.

A travel size toothbrush and toothpaste will do the trick, though! These are super convenient to carry, and all they require is a small ziploc bag for storing and a quick trip to the bathroom to maintain a beautiful, debris-free smile.

2. Mouthwash is your friend.

Mouthwash will always have your back! After your brush and/or floss your teeth, it’s a great idea to swish some mouthwash around too. An antibacterial mouthwash can kill odor-causing bacteria, remove any lingering plaque, and serve as a final, supplementary step to freshen your mouth.

Mouthwash can reach where your toothbrush and floss can’t! This step shouldn’t replace your brushing or flossing routine, but it’s an excellent line of defense to combat poor oral hygiene with braces.

3. Try using specialized floss.

Flossing your teeth with braces using traditional floss can be a bit more challenging than using a floss specially designed to work around braces brackets and wires.

Floss threaders or super floss can be a great investment during your treatment. Floss threaders have tiny little loops that allow you to pass traditional floss through the loop, then thread the floss threader through the space between your teeth and archwires.

Here’s how to floss with braces, using a floss threader:

  1. Pass a bit of floss through the floss threader loop
  2. String the floss threader underneath your archwire
  3. Once the floss is under the archwire, you can floss as you normally would without braces
  4. Repeat these steps for each tooth!

Super floss is another specialized floss, similar to traditional floss, but it has one firm end that can be pushed easily through the teeth without bending or collapsing. Super floss works similarly to a floss threader, except you don’t have to “string” the floss through. You simply direct the solid finish of floss underneath your archwire, between your teeth, and floss your teeth as normal.

Orthodontic flossers such as Platypus® Ortho Flossers or Plackers Orthopicks can be a great tool to clean in between your braces quickly and on-the-go. Waterpiks are a great tool to help keep your braces clean during treatment, but nothing beats flossing with regular floss 2-3 times per week.

4. Don’t skip your dentist appointment!

Your dentist is here to support you in the fight against bad braces hygiene, by deep cleaning your smile to eliminate any plaque or tartar that you aren’t able to reach.

Unless otherwise advised by your dentist, you’ll typically visit your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning. That means you may only have 1 dentist appointment this summer, so don’t worry about multiple dentist appointments weighing you down.

Your dentist visits are absolutely essential for ensuring that you’re maintaining positive oral hygiene, and taking proper care of your gums and teeth. It is best to have your wires removed for your cleanings if possible so please call us as soon as you know when your cleanings are scheduled.

5. Don’t eliminate the sweet treats entirely…

It may sound crazy for your orthodontist to advise that you don’t miss out on the sweet treats this summer, but it’s important to us that you have a positive experience throughout your treatment. We don’t want you to feel too restricted or worry about satisfying your sweet tooth during such a sweet season.

  • Eat your favorite candy in moderation. For the sake of your physical health, mental health and oral health, don’t binge on sweet treats regularly. Although, restricting yourself entirely could cause you to go overboard on sugars, so we don’t recommend avoiding them completely.
  • Clean your teeth after you eat sweets! Commit to your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth after eating sweets. This will prevent these sweets from getting stuck in your braces and leading to plaque buildup. Enjoy sweets responsibly!
  • Avoid the hard, crunchy, chewy candies. There are plenty of other sweets out there (like ice cream, chocolate and soft cookies, and popsicles) that aren’t so risky with your braces. Candies that are especially hard, crunchy and chewy can damage your teeth and your braces, and require an emergency orthodontist visit to us. The last thing you want are more appointments this summer. Spend your time doing what you love!

If you commit to maintaining your oral hygiene this summer, you’ll have all the time you need to meet up with friends and enjoy the Florida weather. Neglecting your smile can lead to bad breath, bacteria buildup, gum disease, more dentist appointments and more orthodontist visits!

Take care of your smile this summer and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, bright smile at the end of your treatment.

Still have questions about caring for braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you and we would love to discuss Invisalign treatment with you.

We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Viera, Merritt Island or Melbourne, come experience the vibes! We’d love to meet you. Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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