With summer having finally arrived, we understand that taking care of their braces is one of the last things on a kid’s mind. Keeping their teeth and braces clean seems far from important when sitting poolside with the family, traveling to summer camp, or just running around the yard before bedtime. Summer also typically brings seasonal foods and treats that present their own potential problems, especially if a child’s oral hygiene starts to suffer. Dr. Senestraro wants to get parents ready for a long and exciting summer by helping to prepare them for keeping their kids on the right oral health track. There are a few precautions parents can take beforehand to make sure their kids are set up for orthodontic success. Here are a few steps you should consider when preparing your summer plans.

Schedule an Early Checkup

Summers are often remembered for their vacations, particularly by kids anxious to explore new places or revisit old favorites. Before you start packing, however, it’s important that you ensure your kids’ braces are ready for these exciting adventures by visiting your orthodontist. Dr. Senestraro will take a look at the wiring and brackets of the braces to see if any adjustments or replacements are needed. This type of checkup will help to keep your child’s progress up-to-date and prevent any unexpected problems from coming up while you’re out of town. If your child hasn’t had a cleaning in a while, make sure to schedule that as well. Making sure that the progress of your child’s braces remain on track is extremely important and can prevent them from having to wear their braces for longer. By scheduling an appointment at the beginning of summer, you can help ensure you child’s orthodontic treatment is taken care of so the whole family can enjoy the fun.

Plan in Advance

Making sure to pack the right items for a vacation or a trip to summer camp can be the difference in enjoying stress-free travel. While your child’s suitcase may be ready for the start of an adventure, those braces may not be. For kids who expect to have a very active summer, Dr. Senestraro recommends getting a mouthguard to protect your child’s braces. This way, jumping around at the pool or playing on the baseball diamond carries a lot less risk to your child’s braces. Kids also have a tendency to let oral hygiene habits slip while away from home, but it’s vital for them to maintain their oral care to enjoy a smooth orthodontic treatment process. If not given the right amount of attention, serious problems could begin to develop that could prolong your child’s treatment time. To help your child stay committed, you should consider creating an oral hygiene kit that includes:

These basics should be able to help you take care of your child’s oral health while traveling.

The Foods to Avoid

Whether a box of Crackerjacks at a ballgame, cotton candy at the fair, or ice cream at a friend’s birthday, the summer presents a lot of tempting treats. Fortunately, your child can still enjoy most of the tasty treats of summer, but there are still some items they need to avoid. Steer your kids away from hard and sticky candies. These can become easily stuck in the wires or even snap a bracket, which means taking another trip to see your orthodontist. Other foods that need to be watched out for include hard pretzels, popcorn, and corn on the cob. To replace these items, offer your child plenty of fruits likes apples and pears, just make sure to cut them up first. It’s also important to limit the amount of sugar your child consumes. Preventing cavities takes on even greater importance when wearing braces. When you do allow your kids something sweet, just make sure they floss and brush thoroughly at night.