Who doesn't love Summer fun in the sun? We know many of our Forster Orthodontics patients are hitting the road to exciting weekend trips and family vacations, but it’s important that our braces and Invisalign patients remember to take care of their appliances while traveling. Taking proper care of your braces can ensure your treatment stays on track. Here are Dr. Matt Forster's best tips for traveling with braces.
SCHEDULE YOUR CHECK-UP.
Dr. Forster knows that many of his patients will spend the summer months taking trips, going to camp, or spending time with family, so he encourages his patients to get those appointments scheduled at the beginning of summer. This way, you’ll know you’ve seen Dr. Forster, and he has checked to make sure your treatment is on schedule and can make any adjustments before you head off on your vacation.
CREATE A BRACES TRAVEL KIT.
When packing your suitcase, make sure you don’t just pack your toothbrush and toothpaste, but anything else you may need to properly care for your braces and mouth while you’re away from home. Make sure you have a floss threader if flossing with your brackets and wires is difficult for you. Don’t forget your orthodontic wax just in case you experience any soreness while you’re away from home. And if you wear Invisalign, don’t forget your protective case to keep your aligners in when you take them out to eat and drink.
It can also be a good idea to think about what you might need if you experience an orthodontic emergency while away from home, especially if you are going sailing or camping. Pack a small pair of nail clippers and some tweezers just in case you have a loose wire, and be sure to remember some over-the-counter pain medication, just in case.
DON’T FORGET YOUR ROUTINE!
Chances are, once you had your braces on, you found a good method to ensure your mouth stays clean. Even though traveling may throw off your normal routine, don’t go lax on your oral care. Brush and floss regularly, especially after meals, and drink plenty of water to help wash away any food debris, especially if you can’t brush your teeth right away. Pack a travel toothbrush in your purse or carry-on bag, just in case.
STICK WITH FRIENDLY FOODS.
It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean you can take a vacation from the list of foods you shouldn’t eat. Anything hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy is still off limits. That means no popcorn, nuts, caramels, or other foods that could damage your braces.
But don’t worry, you’ll be able to find plenty of delicious treats that won’t hurt your brackets or wires. Cool off with some delicious fruit sorbet, Italian ice or a popsicle. Summer staples like watermelon, fresh berries, and even ice cream are all great treats you can enjoy this summer.
DON’T TAKE A VACATION FROM YOUR ALIGNERS.
Chances are there will be plenty of great photo ops this summer, but that doesn’t mean you can skip wearing your Invisalign aligners the prescribed number of hours a day. To ensure your treatment stays on track, you have to wear your aligners 22 hours a day, even during the summer.
“We love hearing about all of the incredible adventures our patients take over the summer months,” says Dr. Forster. “But what we love even more is when we can tell they’ve paid close attention to their braces care while traveling. Doing so ensures that treatment stays on track and that we don’t have to make any adjustments to treatment when they return.”
If you have any questions about traveling this summer with your orthodontic appliance, don’t hesitate to ask the Forster Orthodontics staff.