5 Holiday Travel Tips for Orthodontic Care

If you are traveling a lot this holiday season, it is important not to ignore your orthodontic care while you are away. You should never take a holiday from taking care of your oral health. Whether you have braces or Invisalign aligners, there are somethings you keep in mind while on the road.

Here are 5 holiday travel tips for orthodontic care:

Pack all your Orthodontic and Dental Essentials

First things first, you should make sure you pack all the orthodontic and dental essentials you will need while on the road. Things you should include in your travel kit are a small travel toothbrush, plenty of floss, a small bottle of mouth rinse or a water bottle to rinse you mouth out with, and a small mirror that you can use while brushing and flossing on the go to make sure you are not missing any possible food particles or plaque stuck on your braces or between your teeth and gums.

If your braces are relatively new and you are still having sensitivity issues, it is probably also a good idea to pack orthodontic wax and if you are also wearing rubber bands pack extra of those as well. If you are wearing Invisalign aligners and are going to need a new set while you are traveling, make sure you talk to your orthodontist ahead of time about on how you can stay on track with your treatment while traveling. Maybe he can give you the next aligner ahead of time and you can pack it along with your other essentials and that way you can just switch out the aligners while you are away.

Have a Local Orthodontist on Standby

Unfortunately, you can never plan for all possible situation so it is best to have someone you can contact if you have any orthodontic issues while away from home. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations if they know people in the area and ask the family or friends you are visiting is they have someone they use for their own orthodontic needs. This way if you have an emergency, you won’t have to worry and stress over it getting worse until you can get back home again. You can get it taken care of right away.

Don’t Be Tempted to Eat Banned Food

When you first got your braces on, your orthodontist went over all the problematic food and drink items you should avoid. While it is tempting to be a little lax in your vigilance during the holidays, you still avoid food like popcorn, nuts, corn on the cob and any sticky or chewy candy. Try to limit also your intake of soda and red wine as well because the acid will eat away at your braces.

Don’t Slack on Your Oral Care

The holidays are a time of late nights spent with family and friends and sleeping in so it can be real easy to forget to brush or floss or rush right through our daily oral care not spending the right amount of time devoted to it. While you have so many other things on your mind this time of year, it is important to not forget to take care of your teeth. You certainly don’t want complications to ensue because you didn’t brush and floss properly while you were away.

How to Handle Damage to Your Braces

It is inevitable that at some point the wear and tear of daily living is going to damage your braces, however it can be a stressful situation especially if you are away from home. If one of your wires or brackets break, but there was no damage to the teeth themselves, then don’t panic. You don’t need to rush around to find someone who will give you an emergency appointment. Avoid bending the wire or trying to pull it out. That will only cause more damage. Instead just cover any sharp edges with wax and make an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible.

If however there is serious damage to your teeth or mouth like in a fall or a sports injury then go to the ER right away. Getting injured with wearing braces you increase the damage done and delay your treatment progress so you want to avoid that at all cost. If you are doing a lot of physical activities like skiing, snowboarding or ice skating while on away for the holidays you may want to consider getting a mouthguard to take with you.

A mouthguard can help prevent:

  • A Knocked out tooth. If it is a baby tooth, call an emergency dentist in the local area and make an appointment for an evaluation. Typically dentists don’t recommend you trying to put the baby tooth back in. If it is an adult tooth however, the tooth needs to be rinsed in cold water to clean it off then if possible put back in the mouth. That might not always be possible. If it is not, then keep in stored in a cup of milk or a solution recommended by the dentist until you can get into the office.
  • A tooth fracture. If a tooth is broken, then try to find the piece that was broken off and bring it to the dentist as soon as possible. Small chips are not as big of an emergency and can be taken care of within a few days of the accident or injury. Don’t wait too long though.
  • Tooth pushed into the gums. Sometimes the force of a hit will cause a tooth to be pushed further into the gums. This is called a tooth intrusion. This is very important to get taken care of right away because a baby tooth pushed back into the gums can affect the adult tooth waiting to erupt.

There are typically three different types of mouthguards. You can get one custom-fitted which is more expensive, but at least you know it fits perfectly. The other options are to get a boil and bite version that you can buy at a sporting goods or drug store. You will need to boil them in hot water and then bite down so it will shape itself to fit your mouth. The least expensive are the type that are pre-molded. While cheaper, these might not fit right and so does not offer the best protection.

For more information about caring for your braces during holiday travel, contact Orthodontics Limited today.