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The summer is finally here! Yay! And for many, the longer days and relaxed schedule might finally let you press play on decisions you couldn’t squeeze into the busier seasons. Like getting orthodontic treatment for you or your kids.

Don’t know if your child needs braces or Invisalign®? Wondering what age is best for your child’s first orthodontic visit? Well, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children see the orthodontist by age seven. By age seven, children typically have a few of their adult teeth already and their jaw relationship is often established so the orthodontist can see any potential issues with a child’s smile.

Sometimes, an orthodontist like Dr. Piskai might see that your child would benefit from early orthodontic treatment. But more often than not, we’ll just monitor your child as they grow and let you know when to start orthodontic treatment when it’s needed. Typically, the age for full braces is in the tweens or teens—when your child has all their adult teeth.

Once your child is ready for getting Invisalign or braces, here are 4 big reasons we think summer is the perfect time to start.

1. Your Kids’ Summer Schedule Is More Open

We know families are busier than ever during the school year. But the slower pace of summer gives you and your child more availability for orthodontic appointments. And bonus, you’re not competing with school hours or extracurriculars.

A first orthodontic appointment always takes a bit of time, even though we pride ourselves on no wait times and efficient, convenient care. There’s a lot to cover at an initial orthodontic consultation! Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Cara Piskai, does a comprehensive examination of your child’s teeth and you’ll chat about your child’s medical and dental history. An initial appointment at Piskai Orthodontics also includes things like:

  • Digital x-rays
  • Diagnosis of your child’s orthodontic issues
  • Custom treatment options specific to your child’s teeth and jaw
  • What to expect during the orthodontic process
  • Scheduling an appointment for getting braces put on or for getting Invisalign
  • Transparent conversation about financial and insurance options
  • Answering any of your questions or concerns

If Dr. Piskai determines that your child could benefit from orthodontic care, she’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your child with a 100% custom appliance. Then your child will come in for another appointment for getting their braces put on or trying their first set of Invisalign. This second appointment is longer than a regular check-up, so it’s great if you can fit it in before the hustle of and bustle of the school year.

2. More Time To Master Oral Care With Braces or Invisalign

Getting braces means a more diligent oral care routine at home to avoid tooth decay and cavities. And what better time to get the hang of brushing with braces or Invisalign than the summertime! Without the morning school rush or extra-tired bedtimes, kids can feel more at ease caring for their teeth and new braces.

At Piskai Orthodontics, we offer LightForce™ braces—the only fully custom-made, 3D-printed braces system. LightForce braces have smoother brackets that fit perfectly against the teeth, but there are still more nooks and crannies for food debris, plaque and tartar to hide than before. So your child will need extra time at the start and end of each day to brush and floss well.

With Invisalign, brushing and flossing is the same as before since you take out clear aligners when cleaning your teeth. But your child will need a few extra minutes during their oral care routine to clean their clear aligners before putting them back in their mouth. Simply brush the aligners with a soft toothbrush and water, then rinse.

3. Time to Figure Out Eating Habits After Getting Braces or Invisalign

‍It goes without saying that getting braces or Invisalign changes your eating habits. With braces for kids or adults, you have to make sure what you eat is appliance-friendly. And it takes time to figure out which foods check both the “I like it!” and “ortho-friendly” boxes.

Which is why summer’s looser schedule gives you more time to establish braces-friendly eating habits. This is especially helpful for kids, since some can be less flexible in their food preferences and need a lot of transition time.

So what foods should you avoid? Crunchy, hard, sticky or chewy foods are culprits that easily get stuck in braces, even damage or break them. This can result in a treatment delay or wearing your braces for longer.

Some foods to avoid include:

  • Bagels and pizza crust
  • Chips, popcorn, and hard taco shells
  • Nuts
  • Chewing gum
  • Licorice, gummies, and hard candies
  • Caramel
  • Anything you have to bite into like whole apples, carrots, or corn on the cob

Foods that kids like and are gentle on braces include:

  • Smoothies, applesauce, and milkshakes
  • Yogurt
  • Pasta, noodles, and rice
  • Steamed, cooked, or roasted veggies
  • Soft fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Soups and stews
  • Eggs, fish, and tofu

Pro tip: For new braces wearers, we suggest cold foods to soothe initial discomfort on teeth and gums. And since it’s summer, cold foods like smoothies and popsicles (homemade is better!) fit right into the season.

As for eating with Invisalign, you’ll be happy to hear that you can keep your usual eating habits. You always take out Invisalign when you eat or drink anything other than water so you’re not risking any damage to your appliance.

However, your Invisalign provider in Cherry Hill and Voorhees, NJ recommends you always rinse your clear aligners with water before putting them back in your mouth. That way, any sugars or food particles on them won’t get trapped against your teeth and contribute to tooth decay or cavities.

4. Soothing Initial Oral Discomfort in the Comfort of Home‍

As much as we use the latest technology with comfort and efficiency in mind, temporary discomfort at the start is typical. Discomfort in teeth, mouth, or lips can, understandably, distract kids during school. So getting braces or Invisalign in the summer allows your child the comforts of home and control over their environment during this adjustment period.

Visit Your Orthodontist in Cherry Hill/Voorhees This Summer

Now that you know the benefits of starting orthodontic treatment in the summer, start your child’s smile transformation today.

‍Contact us to make an appointment at our Voorhees, NJ office. Our approachable and genuine team is ready to help your kid get a new smile, created just for them.