In case the scorching sun and soaring temps hadn’t clued you in, summer is officially upon us here in Austin. Pool parties, backyard BBQ’s, live music, maybe a day trip or two – however you’re spending these long, hot days, we’re here to remind you of how important it is to keep your orthodontic treatment on track wherever you may be. Whether you’re kicking it by the pool or setting off an adventure with your family, you can keep your smile in great shape this summer with a little planning ahead. Bee Cave Orthodontics is here to help your treatment succeed, so we’ve put together this quick guide on how to survive summer with braces!
Keep our details on speed dial
With no early mornings or homework to worry about, summer is the perfect time for traveling. Whether it’s by car, boat, train, or plane, be sure you have all the Bee Cave Orthodontics info you need beforehand. You may not anticipate running into any orthodontic emergencies on vacation, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keeping our number on speed dial means that if anything does happen you need assistance with, we’ll be able to talk you through any immediate issues. We’ll also be able to tell you what steps you can take if you need to find some relief. Most of the time, it will be fine to wait until you are back home to follow up with us. However, if we feel as though any immediate treatment is indicated, we can direct you to an orthodontist near you.
If you hit a snag and need to call us, it’s a good idea to try and take a photo of the problem before you do. Use good light or the flash on your camera or phone to capture it clearly. By texting or emailing this photo to us before you get in touch, you can cut down on the time needed to assess the issue. We’ll be able to diagnose what’s going on much more quickly and accurately so you can get back to your summer fun as soon as possible.
DIY care for the road
Although orthodontic emergencies can and do happen (thankfully infrequently!), there are many common minor issues that can be treated easily with a little bit of know-how and a few things you probably have lying around the house. If you find yourself having a problem with any of the following while you’re out and about this summer, try these simple solutions for relief.
Irritated cheeks, lips, or gums
It’s common to experience some mild irritation in your mouth from time to time when you are wearing braces. The most common culprits tend to be is loose brackets or protruding wires, and can usually be taken care of with a small piece of orthodontic wax. To use this method, first be sure the bracket or wire is completely dry. Next, pinch a small piece of wax off, roll it into a ball, then flatten it completely. You can place this over any source of irritation to help relieve discomfort.
If a wire has come loose and is irritating your mouth, all you need is a pencil! Use the eraser end to nudge the wire back against the teeth gently until it flattens out. If the wire is poking around the very back teeth, you can often use a pair of nail clippers to trim the wire back. For extra stability, a piece of orthodontic wax can be placed over the wire.
If a brace comes off while you’re out of town, try not to worry too much. Loose brackets aren’t usually an emergency that requires immediate attention, though you should give our Austin office a call so we can set up an appointment to get your brace put back on. In the meantime, you can slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth, then use wax over the bracket to add some stability. If it’s a brace on your back molar tooth, you can slide the brace off the wire and use a nail clipper to trim the wire next to the closest tooth.
Travel kits are the way to go when you’re on the go
It’s always a good idea to keep a small bag of essentials with you wherever you go to easily maintain your regular oral hygiene routine. Close to home or halfway around the world, your smile will benefit from having a handful of braces basics on hand. Besides a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss, be sure to include a few other helpful items like:
- Orthodontic wax
- An over-the-counter pain reliever for any swelling or soreness related to your braces (though we recommend always checking with Dr. Da Silveira before taking any medication for orthodontic issues)
- A couple of unsharpened pencils, so you’ll have the erasers nearby if you need them
- Nail clippers
Keep this bag in your purse, backpack, or suitcase so it’s close by just in case! Being prepared for anything is one of the best things you can do while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Seek out braces-friendly summertime treats
Summer is full of opportunities to indulge in delicious snacks and sweets. Making smart choices even in the face of temptation will pay off when we’re able to unveil your beautiful brand new smile on time! Stick to the rules of eating with braces by avoiding anything crunchy, chewy, or sticky, and don’t forget to brush after every meal and snack! Although you may have to give goodies like popcorn and ribs a miss, you’ll still have plenty of classics to dig into, like coleslaw, potato salad, jello, grilled hot dogs, and ice cream!
Don’t skip your oral hygiene routine this summer
When school is out, most schedules go out the window. Late nights and late mornings are no big deal when there aren’t any early alarms to set, but one thing you shouldn’t let fall by the wayside is your usual brushing and flossing routine. Brush your teeth after every meal and snack, and brush and floss thoroughly before bed. If you have an oral irrigator, use it at least a couple of times a day to get rid of pesky bacteria and food debris. We totally expect and even encourage slacking off during summer break, but for the sake of your smile, keep your oral hygiene routine on track.
Keep smiling this summer with Bee Cave Orthodontics
Whatever you have planned for the rest of your summer, we hope it’s full of fun with your friends and family, making new memories, and lots of smiles! If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment over summer break, feel free to call us any time, or drop by our Austin office. Dr. Da Silveira and the whole Bee Cave team are dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and engaging you on your way to orthodontic success! We’re here to help you in any way we can. Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you soon!