Whether you have recently embarked on your orthodontic journey towards your perfect smile, or are a year into your treatment, travelling may seem frightening – what do you have to bring with you? What happens if there is an emergency? Travelling while wearing braces or Invisalign will take a little extra planning, but any vacation can go off without a hitch if you are prepared.
If you are planning on travelling you will want to be sure to keep your treatment on track, especially if it will be a long trip. Letting Dr. Walt know you will be out of town in advance will allow us to schedule your appointments close to your departure date, and shortly after you return home.
We suggest creating a “braces/hygiene kit” that should include the following items that will be beneficial for you while away from home:
- Toothbrush & your favourite toothpaste
- Floss, and floss threaders for those wearing braces
- A small bottle of mouthwash (especially for cleaning Invisalign trays)
- Toothpicks or flosspicks
- Orthodontic wax to help with any discomfort (rubbing brackets or poking wires)
- Small mirror
- An extra package of elastics (if you are required to wear them)
- Chew sticks (Invisalign wearers)
- Don’t forget your Invisalign aligners & your Invisalign case for your aligners to prevent losing them!
While we hope you get through your trip smoothly, every so often an orthodontic emergency could arise and being away from home may cause some anxiety. Chewy, sticky and gummy foods, as well as hard candies, nuts, and hard fruits (cut instead of biting into apples, pears…etc. is ok) should be avoided while on vacation especially, to prevent creating an orthodontic emergency for yourself. If an emergency does arise, follow our tips and call the office to make an appointment for as soon as you get back. The following are some common braces-related issues and how to handle them while travelling:
Lip/cheek Irritation: If your wires, brackets, or aligners are irritating your lips or cheeks, rinse regularly with some warm salt water – this will help keep the area clean and disinfected. You can use your orthodontic wax.
Broken Brackets: If a bracket breaks on one of the front or middle teeth, you can place orthodontic wax so it does not irritate you. If the bracket is on a back tooth you can gently remove it from the wire.
Poking wire: You can try using the back of a spoon to gently push the wire under your bracket and out of the way. If the end poking is long enough, being extremely careful, you can try using nail clippers to carefully cut the wire. Use your orthodontic wax.
Sensitive teeth: If you are travelling right after an adjustment, stick to soft foods and cold drinks for a day or two. You can also take Tylenol or Advil as a pain reliever.
Invisalign: If you are an Invisalign wearer and happen to lose the aligner you are currently wearing, simply go back to your previous tray or move into the next tray you have. If an attachment falls off, DON’T WORRY! Continue wearing your aligners like normal and let us know an attachment has fallen off when you are back in town.
Wearing braces or Invisalign won’t put a damper on your wanderlust tendencies as long as you plan ahead, and pack the essentials!