What Do I Do If I Have A Problem With My Braces While On Vacation?

Vacation Braces

It’s summertime, and that means that most people are probably going to be jetting off on a fun vacation. Even if your trip is just to the next town over, if you or your child have braces, you are going to want to be extra careful to ensure that no wires or brackets become dislodged or out of place while away.

The last thing you want to do is take time away from your relatives or friends while you have to scurry to find an orthodontist to fix the problem. And worst of all, you do not just want to simply ignore the problem or endure the pain until you get home. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the possibility that you will have a problem, and then second, deal with a problem if you have one.

What to Avoid

You already know how vital it is that you avoid chewy or gummy food. While at home, this is usually easy, as you usually only buy food that you know you can eat when you have braces. You don’t keep caramel popcorn in your house because you know you can’t eat it, or you are likely to break a bracket or pop a wire. On travel, this may not be so easy, especially if you are a guest in someone else’s home. You don’t always have control over what food is served.

As a rule, stay away from chewing gum of all kinds and any food that has that same consistency. Chewy foods will adhere to the brackets and as your chew, can pull on them and break them off of your teeth. Hard fruit should also be avoided, because they can pry a bracket free or bend a wire. If you want to eat fruit, the best plan of action is to cut it into slivers and then eat it carefully.

Hard bread should also be avoided, for the same reason as hard fruit. The texture of the bread and the motion of biting down into it can be enough to break something or bend your wire. Corn on the cob is also a big no, for that reason as well. Hard candies, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, and nuts are also off the list.

When visiting a friend or relative, simply edit what you put on your plate. Now that you know what kinds of foods are likely to give you trouble, it won’t be difficult to avoid them and therefore avoid a serious problem. While avoiding these foods on a regular basis is always a good idea, it is especially imperative that you avoid them when on travel, so that you do not have an emergency. If you do have an emergency, however, do not be afraid to give us a call, so we can help you formulate a plan for fixing it.

What to Do If Your Wire Moves

If your wire moves, you may be able to feel it. Your teeth will start to feel as though they are being pulled in a different direction, not unlike the feeling you get after you have a new wire installed in your brackets. This is usually not a real problem and something that can be fixed when you return home. Just give us a call and we will make sure that we reposition the wire and get you back on track, once you are home from your vacation.

In some instances, the wire moves enough that you can feel it poking your cheek or your gums. A few tiny pokes may not be such a bad thing, but a wire jabbing into your mouth can become a serious problem fast. It can make it impossible to eat or do anything but think about how painful the wire is. When you call our office, tell us how badly the wire is poking you. While we do not recommend that you try to readjust the wire yourself, you may be able to pull it back into the correct position. In general, we will recommend that you find an orthodontist in the area that can squeeze you in for an emergency appointment and simply readjust the wire.

What to Do If You Break a Bracket or Wire

Breaking a bracket or a wire is usually a larger problem than simply moving a wire inside the brackets. If your wire snaps or if a bracket comes off of your teeth, give us a call and we can help you determine the best plan of action. You shouldn’t have to go through the rest of your vacation worrying about a broken bracket or wire when the problem is relatively simple to fix.

After calling us to let us know, start searching for an orthodontist near where you are staying. There are likely a few. Give them a call and see if there are any emergency openings. Most of the time, an orthodontist is happy to fix a small problem like a broken bracket or snapped wire. Once it is fixed, be extra careful to avoid foods that are likely to cause the problem.

Once you return home, set up an appointment so we can replace the wire or bracket and continue on with your treatment.

What to Do If You Lose an Invisalign Tray?

If you do not have metal or ceramic brackets, but are instead using an Invisalign system, it is possible that you might misplace a tray while you are on vacation. A good stop gap is to bring along either your last tray or your next one, so that you can put them in to replace the lost one. When you get home, just give us a call and set up an appointment to replace the missing tray.