2021 Summer Survival Guide: Braces Edition

What’s on your summer to-do list? Traveling or vacationing? Swimming and playing sports? Maybe you’re more interested in ‘Netflix and do nothing at all’? Whichever way you prefer to do it is the right way to do it. That’s the beauty of summer.

For some kids and teens, there are no questions asked when it comes to doing what they want, when they want during summer. But what about kids or teens with braces? Do they have to sit on the sidelines until next season?

Nope! If you have braces, you don’t have to sit out on any games or cancel any hangouts. Your treatment won’t stop you from living your best life this summer.

As an orthodontist in St. Petersburg and Seminole, we know all about the summer, the Florida heat, and the necessary lifestyle adjustments that come with it…

Check out these tips and tricks to help you stay cool, calm, collected, and on-track to a beautiful smile this summer.

1. Make a braces care kit…. And carry it everywhere you travel.

Okay, you don’t have to bring it everywhere—but you might want to. Gather some necessities, like braces-friendly floss, a small tube of toothpaste, a travel-sized toothbrush, interdental brush, and especially some orthodontic wax.

It may be a good idea to add an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Tylenol, depending on how far along you are in your treatment or how recent your last adjustment appointment was to minimize any soreness.

You’ll never know when you may need any of these tools, and orthodontic wax can come in really handy if a bracket or wire irritates your cheeks while traveling.

2. Eat cautiously… but don’t be too hard on yourself.

Traveling can make it pretty difficult to stick to your normal diet. When you don’t have access to your fridge, you’re forced to eat at restaurants or pick up snacks at Publix on the way. Having to eat out isn’t the worst thing in the world. (It may be one of the best parts of vacationing actually.)

Trying new foods is always a good time! But if you have braces, you may be nervous about which foods are off limits and which ones are still on the table.

If you’re on vacation-mode, you may be in the mood for some guilty pleasure foods. You can still have pizza (no crunchy crust), brownies (no nuts), chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, soft tacos with all the fixings, ice cream, mac and cheese, slushies and french fries… the possibilities are endless.

Just be sure to stay cautious of your braces. Opt for softer foods, and avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods to prevent damaging your brackets or wires.

3. Don’t take risks! Wear a mouthguard.

If there is any chance that you can damage your mouth during a sport or activity you’re playing this summer, wear a mouthguard! Mouthguards are absolutely essential for protecting your teeth, cheeks and gums from impact.

Whether you play basketball, soccer, football or tennis, or you participate in cheerleading, gymnastics or swimming, there’s always a chance of something spiraling toward your face. Soccer balls, footballs, other players’ body parts, the ground, a wall—you can damage your mouth anywhere, with or without braces.

Don’t take chances with your mouth! Your smile is precious and relatively delicate compared to another player’s elbow… ouch. Even if you’re not undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s still essential that you protect your smile!

4. Smile confidently!

Last but not least—smile confidently throughout your treatment! Whether you chose Invisalign® clear aligners or braces, you should be proud that you’re putting in the work to transform your smile.

There’s a huge light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is a confident, radiant smile that lasts a lifetime (if you allow it).

Summer is about having fun, sweating, meeting up with friends and eating to your heart’s content. Your orthodontic treatment shouldn’t get in the way.

Can we survive summer 2021 with braces?… Absolutely.

Summer is arguably the best time to undergo orthodontic treatment. Children and teens have a much-needed break from school, which allows for the perfect transition period into life with braces.

If you have any questions about adjusting to summer with braces, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If you’re ready to take the first step toward your beautiful new smile, request your complimentary consultation with leading orthodontists in Florida today.