Braces won’t stop you from doing anything except eating sticky or hard foods, but they can be difficult to manage while traveling over the long haul. If you’re going away for more than a month, you would need to make extra preparations to ensure that your braces are in good shape before and after your trip.
Here are some things to remember if your trip is going to last more than a month, especially if you’re going overseas:
1. Get your adjustment before leaving
Try to schedule your trip right before your next adjustment. This will give you more time to enjoy your trip before you have to get your braces adjusted again. And if you will be leaving for just around a month, you will be back in time for your next appointment. However, keep in mind that adjustments can cause pain, which will mean you will have to deal with a bit of toothache in the first few days of your trip, so be sure to pack some pain medications.
2. Look for an orthodontist at your destination
Look for available orthodontists at your destination and find one that best fits your needs and budget. If your orthodontist can recommend one in that area, then that’s better. But if not, you’ll have to do your own research to find a good clinic. Moreover, if you’re scheduled to undergo a dental braces procedure after you start your trip, it’s always a good idea to book an appointment with a dentist at your destination in advance.
The downside is that you likely have to pay cash if your medical insurance doesn’t cover dental treatments in other countries. That said, you may have to factor that expense into your travel plans.
3. Keep your oral hygiene routine
Traveling can throw you off from your regular oral hygiene routine, which is bad news, especially if you wear braces. That said, make it a point to maintain your oral hygiene routine while you’re traveling and when you get to your destination. Braces can be challenging to maintain, so be sure to brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly to avoid any problem. Even if you’re in a different place, you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping up your old routine.
4. Pack the essentials
Bring your oral hygiene essentials, including your toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, floss threader, mouthwash, aligners case, and wax if your braces chafe around your lips. Pack some tweezers and nail clippers as well in case you experience a loose wire around your braces. Make sure your first aid kit has pain medication, too.
If you need a special toothbrush that may not be available at your destination, bring two just in case. The same goes for prescription toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral hygiene essentials.
5. Avoid no-no foods
One of the best parts of traveling is eating food. After all, eating is a great way to experience the local culture. However, always be mindful of what you put in your mouth. Anything overly crunchy, sticky, and chewy is a no-no unless you want to end up damaging your braces. If you are unsure about a particular food’s texture, have a companion try it out or ask the server before putting it in your mouth.
Having to avoid certain foods can be a bummer, but don’t worry, for one type of food that you have to avoid, there are sure to be dozens more that you can eat even with braces on.
6. Keep travel-sized mouthwash or floss in your bag
If you don’t have the opportunity to brush your teeth in between meals, at least floss your teeth and flush your mouth with mouthwash to get rid of food debris and bacteria. Keep a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash and some floss in your bag wherever you go. However, don’t use these things as a substitute for toothbrushing! When you get back to your hotel or rental, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible.
7. Avoid taking out your aligners
If you wear aligners, do not take them out unless you have already worn them for the recommended amount of hours per day. It may be tempting to remove them for photos, but doing this may be detrimental to your teeth, more so if it becomes a habit, so don’t even think about it.
Having braces doesn’t have to put a damper on your trip, even if you’re traveling for more than a month. With these tips, you can keep your teeth safe and healthy while enjoying your long vacation.