wrex via photopin cc

Chapped or cracked lips can make your normally pleasant orthodontist appointment frustrating and painful. Even in between appointments, chapped lips are easily irritated by braces.

So how do you avoid chapped lips and get back to enjoying your appointments? We’ve compiled some tips for you!

Balming

Lip balm is your best friend this winter. Keep a tube in your bedroom, jackets, backpack, or car. Apply every few hours to protect your lips from drying out. If you’re going to be outside a lot, get a balm with SPF. Your lips burn just like your skin does.

Try not to lick your lips. Licking may provide temporary relief from the pain of chapped lips, but ultimately, the chemicals in your saliva can make your lips chap faster. If you keep balm nearby, try to apply every time you’re tempted to lick.

Apply extra balm at night. Because of dry air, drooling, and breathing through your mouth, sleeping can be the worst time for chapping. Besides, you’re actually in bed for a long time (hopefully 7-9 hours!), so your lips have a long time to dry out.

Exfoliating

Have you ever tried to pull the dead skin off your lips and ended up with a bleeding crack? There’s an easier way, I promise. Try scrubbing your lips gently with a soft toothbrush or an oil and sugar mix. The dead skin will come off without leaving bleeding wounds. Afterward, be sure to apply balm heavily—your lips will be soft and especially susceptible to chapping immediately after exfoliating. A consistent exfoliating and balming pattern will create soft, healthy lips.

Preventing

Dry air is a major cause of chapping. To avoid it, you could get a small humidifier, which will put a little moisture in the air at home. When you’re outside, try covering your mouth with a scarf to protect it from the wind. Because moving air does chap your lips, try not to breathe through your mouth.

Stay hydrated. Your lips need hydration from inside, not just balming outside. If you’re getting plenty of water, your lips are less likely to chap.

Keep your lips soft and healthy to showcase the beautiful smile you’re developing!
Photo credit: wrex via photopin cc