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Caring For Your Braces While You’re On Vacation


Winter’s finally here, and that means it’s vacation time! Whether you’re headed to an island resort packed full of postcard views, or jet setting to Europe to backpack across the country, vacations are generally a time to relax and set aside your worries about everyday life. While you should aim to live life to the fullest during your getaway, your braces are unfortunately one thing that can’t be ignored for very long; they require constant, attentive care. That’s why your San Diego orthodontist at Stormberg Orthodontics has put together this helpful list of how-to tips and tricks for braces care while you’re gallivanting across the globe.

Eat Smart On The Go

When traveling to a new city or country, you will likely want to experience all of the culinary delights that region of the world has to offer. From exotic foods you’ve never tried to regional classics done to perfection, your taste buds will crave authentic flavors and ingredients that you can’t get anywhere else. No matter how badly you may be tempted to sink your braces-covered chompers into any new dish in sight, there are certain types of foods that can break your brackets, bend your archwires, or just plain damage the health of your teeth and gums. Sticking with braces-friendly foods while on holiday becomes doubly important, as it may be more difficult to visit a dentist if you develop any dental problems or lose a bracket in a foreign place.

Sticky Foods to Avoid

  • Gum (regular, sugar-free is less sticky)
  • Licorice
  • Toffee
  • Caramels
  • Dried fruit

Hard, Starchy Foods to Avoid

  • Ice (don’t chew)
  • Nuts (whole nuts, chopped or sliced are more brace friendly)
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces and/or cooked)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Pizza crust

Stick To Your Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

No matter where you’re traveling to or how long you will be gone, taking great care of your teeth is important to the overall well being of your mouth and the efficiency of your orthodontic treatment. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are extra important while on vacation, as your San Diego orthodontist at Stormberg Orthodontics won’t be around to help if something goes wrong! Regardless of how many fun things you have on your vacation itinerary, make sure to brush and floss in the morning, after every meal, and in the evening right before bed. Whether you’re planning to deep-sea dive in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, or write your award-winning novel outside of a Parisian café, our tried and true dental hygiene routine is a failsafe plan that will ensure your braces remain happy and healthy day in and day out.

Keep A Braces Tool Kit Handy

Vacations can be a non-stop adventure, so it’s important to keep an extra set of oral hygiene tools with you wherever you go. Regardless of how planned your vacation itinerary may be, you could wind up needing a travel-sized toothbrush or floss picks after an unexpected meal or snack. To stay prepared for the unpredictability of your journey, you should keep a backup braces tool kit handy at all times.

Important oral hygiene tools you should keep handy include:

  • Travel-Sized Toothbrush
  • Nylon Floss Picks
  • Orthodontic Wax (If you’ve recently received braces)
  • Compact Mirror

Stay Hydrated

Regardless if you’re wearing traditional metal braces or Invisalign, your mouth is going to sense that something foreign is present, causing you to produce a lot of extra salivae and become dehydrated. While you’re exploring all of the new sights and sounds on your vacation, it’s critical to keep a large water bottle of clean drinking water on you at all times to stay adequately hydrated. Additionally, you can use water in a pinch to clean your teeth and gums by swishing some around your mouth!

Traveling With Invisalign or Invisalign Teen

When you’re on vacation with Invisalign, make sure to keep your aligners on you at all times. Instead of stowing them away in a checked bag during your flight, keep them handy in a carry-on. As flights could be delayed, or your luggage could be lost, it’s critically important to keep your trays by your side at all times. If you lose your Invisalign trays during your vacation, the progress you’ve made during your treatment thus far comes to a screeching halt. Once you reach your destination, the same rules apply; make sure to keep your aligners and their case with you no matter where you go. Remember, you must wear your aligners at least 20-22 hours each day!

If you’ll be traveling for more than two weeks, make sure to take at least three of your Invisalign sets along your current set, your previous set, and your next set. When the time comes to change your aligners – and you can easily put them in and take them out without extreme discomfort – you’re probably safe to move on to your next pair. If your most recent trays still feel tight, don’t be afraid to stick with your current aligners, or go back to your previous set.

Schedule A Pre-Vacation Orthodontic Exam With Your La Mesa Orthodontist

Before your big trip, make sure to set up an orthodontic check-up here at Stormberg Orthodontics! Dr. Stormberg and our dental team can double check that all of your brackets are in place, that your archwires are tight, and that your teeth are in great shape to travel within the country or abroad. If you plan on being away for a lengthy period of time, our staff can make adjustments to your regular appointment schedule to make sure you’re still on the right track towards a beautifully straight smile!

What are you waiting for?

Smile Brighter Today!

We have treatments to bring out the best in any smile. Learn about your options at your complimentary visit.

What are you waiting for?

Smile Brighter Today!

We have treatments to bring out the best in any smile. Learn about your options at your complimentary visit.