Summer is coming and you’ve got plans this year! Whether you’re planning an exotic cruise trip or catching a flight to spend some time with family out-of-state, it’s important not to forget about your smile-in-progress.
Traveling while you undergo orthodontic treatment may sound challenging, but with the right tools and tips, you’ll be prepared to enjoy your trip to the fullest!
Here’s a few pro tips on traveling with braces so you can safely navigate any vacation or holiday!
Tip #1: Contact Your Orthodontist
As soon as you’ve finalized your travel plans, before sure to double-check your orthodontist appointment dates. If you see some overlapping concerns, we urge you to reach out to us as soon as possible so we’re able to work with your travel plans! We may even ask you to come in for a quick check-up visit.
If you’ve made spontaneous summer plans, be sure to inform Dr. Caudill or Dr. McNeight of your travel plans at your regular check-up. They’ll be able to do a quick assessment of your braces before you travel to make sure everything is secured. (You don’t want any wires coming loose or brackets falling off during your trip.)
This is also the perfect opportunity to ask our orthodontists any questions you may have—even if it sounds silly! Something like “Can you go in the ocean with braces?” is actually a fairly common question. To which the answer is yes! Many patients can be concerned with braces rusting, but we promise it’s just a myth! Braces won’t rust after swimming in the ocean or a pool.
Tip #2: Pack Your Ortho Essentials
Packing for your summer getaway can be exciting! But don’t forget to take your braces or Invisalign treatment into account. The best way to do this is to pack an essential ortho care kit for your trip. Bringing these tools will ensure that you maintain excellent oral hygiene during your travels and be prepared if you encounter a minor orthodontic emergency. Here’s a few basic items we recommend adding to your braces travel kit for a safe and smooth trip.
- Floss and orthodontic flossers
- Orthodontic wax
- Rubber bands (if you’ve been prescribed them)
- Extra Invisalign trays (if you’re traveling for an extended period)
- Travel-size bottle of Ibuprofen or Tylenol
Tip #3: Be Cautious With Your Food Choices
Having braces doesn’t mean you have to turn down delicious foods; you just have to be cautious. Although your braces are durable, you can still pop a wire loose or break a bracket if you bite into a hard piece of food. As a general rule of thumb, avoid crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods. You’re free to enjoy the following foods, as long as you brush and floss your teeth afterward!
- Soft fruits, cut into small pieces
- Tasty, soft pastries
- Fruit smoothies
- Soft chocolate
- Ice-cream and sorbet
Tip #4: Stay on top of your oral hygiene routine!
While you enjoy your vacation or study abroad with braces, it’s important that you stay committed to your oral care! The best way to minimize potential problems is through preparation.
Make sure you stock up on your oral hygiene supplies so you’ll have everything on-hand and ready to use. Keep in mind that we have over 6 billion bacteria in our mouths at any given time. Brushing and flossing your teeth are critical for minimizing plaque and bacteria buildup and protecting your teeth from cavities!
Tip #5: Be Prepared for Orthodontic Emergencies
Orthodontic emergencies may happen when you travel. A cruise excursion could get too wild or grandma forgets to tell you her casserole has nuts in it. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected.
Be sure to pack orthodontic wax, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, and have our orthodontist office number handy! If you’re traveling out of the country, it’s a good idea to check if your insurance covers dental emergencies abroad. Experiencing soreness or discomfort during your travels with braces? Be sure to reference these steps!
Can another orthodontist adjust my braces?
Another orthodontist can see a patient on an emergency basis, depending on the nature of the problem, but not for a routine adjustment. We receive calls from time to time from people who are visiting the area and have an issue with their braces and we are always happy to lend a helping hand and expect other orthodontists will do the same for our patients.
If a bracket falls off your tooth or you’re unable to fix a pokey wire, call us, and we can help you determine the best course of action. We don’t want you to worry while you’re supposed to be enjoying your trip!
However, if you’re experiencing severe pain, bleeding or an open wound seek help from a local orthodontist where you are visiting along with calling to let us know the problem.
Make Traveling with Braces Easy!
Going on vacation with braces is not difficult, it just requires a little more care and attention. By taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy your trip stress-free! We want to see you smiling from ear-to-ear during and after your trip.
If you’d prefer an orthodontic treatment that minimizes the possibility of orthodontic emergencies, consider Invisalign®! Invisalign clear aligners don’t use any metal brackets or wires, which makes this treatment an extremely convenient option for avid-travelers.
If you have any questions about traveling with braces, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re here to help.