Invisalign & Braces: Your Summer Survival Guide

Ahh, summertime! The days are filled with copious amounts of sunshine and relaxation with friends and family. Food is also abundant during the summer — but what can you eat when you have braces? Dr. Mullally and the team at Studio32 Orthodontics share several ways to enjoy summer foods and activities while working to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!

Summer Foods To Avoid

Summer foods focus on seasonal varieties and cooking techniques. Some of them should be avoided no matter how long you’ve worn braces or Invisalign.  

Corn on the Cob

Grilled or boiled, corn on the cob has long been a summer food staple. But if you have braces in Gainesville, eating corn on the cob can damage the wires and braces. It’s strongly recommended to forgo eating corn directly from the cob until your braces are removed. Dr. Mullally suggests cutting the kernels from the cob before eating.

Thick-Cut Meats

If you looked forward to a grilled steak or another cut of meat during the summer before having braces or Invisalign, don’t worry. It’s still okay to fire up the grill, but your Gainesville orthodontist suggests foregoing thick cuts and stringy meats. These can become stuck between your teeth and/or loosen bands, brackets, and wires.

Raw or Uncooked Vegetables

Munching on vegetables in the summer is refreshing and provides vitamins and nutrients necessary for good oral health. However, extra care needs to be used before eating raw or undercooked vegetables while wearing braces. Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces, as these are ideal for chewing with the back teeth. Otherwise, boil or steam the vegetables until they soften and become easier to chew with braces.

Sugary Food Items

Summer cookouts are rife with cakes, cookies, pies, and other sweet treats. But if you have braces or Invisalign, it’s a good idea to avoid foods high in sugar content in the summer and year-round.

These Summer Foods Are OK To Enjoy

If you’re worried about what summer favorites you can enjoy this year, don’t fret. Here are four common summer foods that are fine for any type of orthodontia. If you’re unsure about whether a summer treat is okay to enjoy, call Gainesville orthodontist Dr. Mullally and the team at Studio32 Orthodontics to double-check!

Watermelon

Relatively easy to chew — just don’t eat the seeds — watermelon is mostly water and full of nutrients. The high water content helps you stay hydrated and rinse away food particles from your braces and teeth as you eat.

Smoothies

Smoothies are a healthy and orthodontia-friendly alternative to many drinks and desserts. Be gentle with your braces by blending your favorite fruit into a cold smoothie this summer!

Baked Beans

A quintessential side of summer meals, baked beans are easy to chew and high in fiber and protein, two key parts of a balanced diet.

Macaroni & Cheese

Enjoyable year-round, macaroni and cheese is easy to chew and won’t damage brackets or wires. Be careful if there are hot dogs or bacon bits in the dish, as these may cause issues when chewing.

Maintain Your Oral Health During the Summer

Carefree is a good way to describe the summer months, but easygoing days and weeks don’t have to mean giving up good oral health when you follow these tips!

  • Don’t chew on ice. It’s easy to mindlessly chew the last unmelted ice cubes in a cold drink, but ice is hard enough to chip or break teeth, braces and Invisalign trays.
  • Wear a mouthguard during activities and sports. Summer is a great time to be active throughout the day, but protect your smile by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard.
  • Refuel with water. Lemonade, iced tea, sweet tea, and other popular summer drinks are invigorating on a hot day, but the sugar and coloration can harm your teeth.
  • Schedule a checkup with Studio32 Orthodontics! Making time for an appointment with Dr. Mullally, an Invisalign orthodontist, can help you get through the summer without a hitch.

Smile-Friendly Tips for Trips & Vacations

If you or your family are planning a trip or two this summer, here are three easy, smile-friendly tips to remember for good oral health.

  • Make a travel kit for your teeth. Keep a small bag for floss, a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste on hand everywhere you go.
  • Stick to your regular routine. Being away from home for even a few days can mean slipping into a new routine, but it’s important to remember to brush and floss at least twice a day.
  • Sip and snack wisely. Vacations usually provide the opportunity to try new foods and drinks, but be mindful of how sugary or sweet they are. Combine sweet foods with healthier meals to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria forming in your mouth.

Orthodontist in Gainesville, FL

At Studio32 Orthodontics, we love summer as much as you! But we also know it’s important to take care of your teeth and oral health as the days grow longer. If you have any questions about what summer foods are braces-friendly or are unsure about what to pack for a trip, give us a call! We’re always happy to provide tips and guidance to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile!