It is that time of year again – summer break!
With everything that has been going on in the world and how long people have been sheltering in place, it is no wonder why so many are ready to pack up and get away from it all.
According to NBC News, the number of people traveling (particularly by air) has risen exponentially since March – and it is only expected to rise during the summer months.
Planning a family getaway after all this time is exciting, but it is important to do what you can to remain healthy, which includes caring for your braces, teeth, and gums.
Caring for Your Braces on Vacation: 5 Orthodontic Tips
Going on vacation with braces presents its own set of challenges. In fact, one of those challenges is simply remembering to pack everything you need to care for your braces.
By creating an action plan now, you will be well prepared when it comes time to hit the road. Here are some orthodontic tips from your Carson orthodontist that can help.
1. Pack Travel Toothbrushes
Packing a toothbrush is a must, but it might be a good idea to pack more than one travel toothbrush. It is so easy for small items to get lost or left behind when you are on vacation, especially if you are traveling to multiple destinations/hotels.
Make sure your toothbrush(es) is/are soft-bristled. Medium and hard bristles can wreak havoc on your delicate gum tissue. They can also damage the rubber bands around your brackets, causing them to break more easily.
Remember, too, that brushing takes a bit of time. You are excited to do fun things on your trip but try not to sacrifice your oral hygiene. Trying to speed through your routine can result in brushing too hard, which can irritate your gums and even lead to an orthodontic emergency.
2. Do Not Forget Your Floss Threaders
Flossing daily is a must for healthy teeth and gums. Yet, it is easy to forego when you are out of your usual routine. Do your best to make flossing a priority each day.
Pack extra floss threaders (or whatever floss tools you use) just in case you misplace some or go through them faster than expected.
If you are planning on going out to eat, carry one or two threaders with you in your pocket or purse. Having threaders with you allows you to steal away to the bathroom to remove that pesky piece of spinach or those uncomfortable seeds that get stuck between your teeth, archwire, brackets, or bands.
3. Pack Extra Orthodontic Wax
This is especially important if you are going to be traveling to some remote destination. A wire or band can break, resulting in the chronic discomfort of a metal wire poking your cheek or lips.
A bit of extra wax can help alleviate any discomfort you experience until you are able to see your Carson Orthodontist.
4. Take a Small Mouth Mirror with You
A mouth mirror can help you (or anyone assisting you) to locate and identify certain oral issues, such as:
- A popcorn kernel stuck in your gums
- A broken bracket or rubber band
- Canker sores
You can find a mouth mirror online, at your local pharmacy, or at a store like Safeway, Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart. These stores also often carry Dental Health Tool Kits, which contain a mouth mirror and other tools that can help you place a new band more easily or remove things like popcorn kernels.
5. Get a Dental Check-up Before Your Trip
If possible, schedule a dental exam before you leave. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and ending up with a toothache, sensitivity, or broken brackets.
Your dentist can evaluate your oral health before you leave and catch issues while they are still minor. If you do not need treatment – great! Have a wonderful trip.
Even if you do need some restorative work done prior to your trip, in the end, you will be glad you took care of it beforehand.
Braces on Vacation: What Should You Avoid?
The best way to care for your braces on vacation is to practice good oral hygiene. Beyond that, there are a few things you might want to avoid just to be safe.
Watch What You Eat
Certain foods can damage your braces (and teeth), so you will want to steer clear of them in general, but especially while you are out of town. These include:
- Sticky foods (gum, candy, dried fruit)
- Corn chips
- Hard candies, cookies, or crackers
If you choose to eat some of the following foods on your vacation, try to cut them up into smaller pieces so they have less impact on your brackets.
- Sub sandwiches
- Raw vegetables
- French bread
- Corn on the cob
Invest in a Mouthguard
Whether you are in braces or Invisalign clear aligners, it would be smart to invest in a mouthguard or sports guard.
What Should You Do If You Have an Orthodontic Emergency?
If you experience an emergency while out of town, contact a nearby orthodontist right away, especially if you are in pain. Make sure to keep any broken orthodontic devices, such as bands, wires, or brackets, and bring them to your next appointment with your Carson orthodontist.
Make sure to keep extra rubber bands with you in case one or more of yours breaks. It might also be a good idea to pack some topical anesthetic if you are planning on vacationing in an isolated area where there are no dentists or orthodontists nearby.
Looking for More Ortho Tips? Contact Us Today!
Our team will do everything they can to ensure you have the best possible orthodontic experience. To that end, they will provide you with plenty of information and tips on how to care for your braces and how to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you have any questions about your treatment, please let us know right away.
Would you like to learn more about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy during ortho treatment? Contact us today for more information.