Summer is a time for long days, fun activities and relaxed schedules.  But . . . it can also throw off our “normal” schedules — making it easy to forget about our oral health. Add to this sugary, warm-weather treats, parties with tempting goodies and outside play, and summertime can be hard on braces and smiles.

Help keep your braces intact and your smile on track by using our Summer 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.

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.

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.

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:

Hydration and Oral Health
10 Tips for Summertime Oral Health
Time for Braces? 4 Reasons Why Summer is Best!
Soft Drinks and Your Teeth — a Bad Combination
Mouth Guards: Protect Your Smile