Enjoying the Summer with Braces: Tips from McDonough Orthodontics

A child smiling under water, Enjoying the Summer with Braces: Tips from McDonough Orthodontics

Summer in Murray, UT, is all about outdoor fun, family picnics, and delicious barbecues. At McDonough Orthodontics, we understand that having braces might seem challenging during this fun-filled season, but with a few helpful tips, you can enjoy every moment while keeping your smile healthy and bright. Here are some braces-friendly food suggestions and tips to ensure you have a fantastic summer without any worries!

Braces-Friendly Picnic and Barbecue Foods

A barbecue grill with food on it, Braces-Friendly Picnic and Barbecue Foods

Picnics and BBQs are a classic part of summer, but some traditional outdoor foods like corn on the cob, grilled meat with bone, or hard, raw veggies can be tough on braces. Here are some braces-friendly suggestions that everyone will love:

Hot Off the Grill: There are many grilled foods that are braces friendly. Some suggestions are hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, shrimp kabobs, and boneless chicken kabobs.

Roast Your Veggies: Toss your favorite vegetables on the grill. Maybe you like roasted zucchini, mushrooms, or bell pepper. For a vegetable with a kick, grill some bacon-wrapped jalapenos.

Picnic Sandwiches: If you want simple picnic sandwiches, just about anything goes as long as you choose soft foods like peanut butter and jelly, cheeses, soft lunch meats, etc., and use soft bread.

Pasta or Potato Salad: Soft pasta salads like macaroni salad, Italian pasta salad, or bacon ranch pasta salad are braces friendly. Soft vegetables like avocado, cucumber, and cooked bell peppers add flavor without adding crunchy veggies that can damage braces.

Fruit Salads: Summertime is abundant with soft fruits such as bananas, melons, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, and berries. You can create your own fruit salad with your favorites.

Utah Dessert Favorites: You will surely want dessert after your BBQ or picnic. So, we’ve included some braces-friendly desserts you may like. Your braces are safe with some of Utah’s popular ones, including Jello, peach cobbler, pull-apart pastry, and cherry pie. If you haven’t tried Aggie Blue Mint ice cream created at Utah State University, it’s worth a try! You can read the story of its creation here:Origin Story: Aggie Blue Mint. If none of these tempt your taste buds, cakes, puddings, other ice cream flavors, or frozen yogurt might do the trick.

Sun Safety for Your Braces

A person drinking from a bottle, Sun Safety for Your Braces

Protecting your smile from the sun is as important as protecting your skin. Here are some tips to ensure your mouth stays healthy:

  1. Lip Balm with SPF: Like your skin, your lips can get sunburned too. Use lip balm with SPF to keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
  2. Stay Hydrated:  Drinking plenty of water is crucial in the summer heat. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria, keeping your braces and teeth clean. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you prefer filtered water, you can get sports water bottles that have filters.
  3. Avoid Sugary Drinks: While it’s tempting to cool off with a sugary soda or juice, these drinks can contribute to tooth decay, especially around braces. Stick to water or sugar-free beverages. If you do indulge, try to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
  4. Wear a Hat: A wide-brimmed hat can help protect your face and lips from direct sunlight, providing an extra layer of protection for your smile.

General Summer Safety Tips for Kids with Braces

Wear a Mouthguard: If you’re playing sports or engaging in physical activities, wearing a mouthguard is essential to protect your braces from damage and your mouth from injury. Custom-fitted mouthguards are best, but store-bought ones can also provide protection.

  1. Be Mindful with Summer Treats: Ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and popsicles are summer staples, but be careful with hard or sticky treats that can damage braces.
  2. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Summer can be busy with many fun activities, but don’t forget to brush and floss regularly. Keeping a travel toothbrush and floss in your bag can help you stay on top of your oral hygiene even on the go. Consider using interdental brushes or a water flosser for a thorough cleaning around braces.
  3. Handle Braces Emergencies Properly: Know what to do if a bracket comes loose or a wire breaks while you’re away from home. Keep McDonough Orthodontics’ contact information handy, and carry a small kit with orthodontic wax, a mirror, and pain relief items. In case of an emergency, contact McDonough Orthodontics as soon as possible.
  4. Plan for Orthodontic Checkups: If you’re going on an extended vacation, schedule an orthodontic checkup before you leave. At your checkup, we can ensure that we address any potential issues and that your braces are in good condition.

Enjoy Every Moment of Your Summer with Braces

Having braces doesn’t mean you have to miss out on summer fun. With a bit of extra care and attention, you can savor every picnic, barbecue, and outdoor adventure while keeping your smile bright and healthy. At McDonough Orthodontics, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us. Enjoy the season, stay safe, and keep smiling brightly!

Dr. David McDonough & Team
McDonough Orthodontics

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