We’re in the Dog Days of Summer! That means hot days, long nights, fun times and loose schedules.  But, it can also mean that some of the items on our “normal” schedules maybe taking a back seat . . . making it easy to forget about our oral health. Add to this sugary, summertime treats, celebrations with tempting goodies and outside play — and summertime can be hard on our braces and smiles.

This Summer, help keep your braces intact and your smile on track by using our checklist:

4 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Those wearing braces should brush their teeth FOUR times each day — breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime.

WATER IS BEST: Soft drinks, lemonade and sports drinks can quench your thirst, but their contents can damage teeth. Enjoy them in moderation and rinse with water or brush after drinking to get rid of the sugar and acid.

BRACE-FRIENDLY TREATS: Remember to avoid crunchy, chewy, or sticky treats — they lead to certain destruction for braces! Choose summertime favorites like ice cream, jello and fresh fruit.

AVOID THE ICE: It’s easy to chew on ice during hot days, but it’s not brace-friendly. Use ice to chill drinks . . . not as something to eat.

CALL THE DENTIST: Visiting the dentists every 6 months is important for brace-wearers! Give your dentists a call and get a check up . . . before the back-to-school schedules start.

MAKE A TRAVEL SET: Grab a travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, wax and rubber bands to keep handy for vacations, slumber parties and day trips. Need some extras? Contact your local AO office and we’ll be glad to give you more wax and rubber bands!

WEAR A  MOUTH GUARD: Whether on the soccer field, or rollerblading in the park, a properly fitting mouth guard can reduce the chance of even the most common dental injuries by up to 60 times. Need a brace-friendly mouth guard?  Contact your local AO office and we’ll give you one!

ORTHODONTIC EMERGENCIES: General soreness, loose brackets and poking wires can be frustrating and irritating, but rarely require an emergency visit. Click here to find temporary solutions to common issues.

Associated Orthodontists has six convenient locations in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Please visit greatbraces.com to find a location near you or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Related Articles: 

Protect your Smile with a Mouth Guard
Start your Summer Smile
10 Tips for Summertime Oral Health