Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition

As the season shifts towards sunnier days, your plans for a summer getaway are probably taking shape. Whether exploring new cities or returning to your favorite beach spots, your braces or clear aligners are coming along for the ride. To keep your orthodontic care on track while you’re soaking up the sun or enjoying a cityscape, the Saddle Creek Orthodontics team has crafted the Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition. This guide is packed with tips to keep your smile in top condition while you’re away. 

Pre-Vacation Checkup

Before you head off on your summer adventures, you’ve got to first get ready for your trip by visiting Dr. Kyle Fagala or Dr. John Boling at Saddle Creek Orthodontics. This step is especially important if you plan to be gone for a while. This quick and easy pre-vacation checkup will set the stage for a stress-free trip. Our board-certified orthodontists will make sure your metal or clear braces are in excellent condition, double-check that your Invisalign aligners and your aligner schedule are good to go, and maybe even offer personalized travel tips based on where you’re going!

Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition

Braces Care Kit

After you visit us, there’s one more thing you should do. You’ve got to pack a braces care kit! You might already carry most of this around every day anyway, but just in case, let’s recap what should be in your braces kit. 

  • Travel-Sized Water Flosser: Compact and perfect for maintaining dental hygiene, this tool makes it easy to clean around braces and underwires—and it doesn’t take up nearly as much space in your suitcase as a counter-size water flosser.
  • Orthodontic Wax: If any part of your braces or aligners starts irritating your mouth, a little orthodontic wax can provide immediate relief and prevent mouth sores.
  • Orajel: If you are unfortunate enough to get any mouth sores or minor oral injuries on vacation, Orajel can help temporarily numb the discomfort.
  • Small Mirror: Handy for checking your braces or aligners and managing any issues that arise while away from your full-size bathroom mirror. Like interdental brushes, this will keep you photo-ready throughout your entire trip!
  • Floss & Floss Threaders: Regular flossing is crucial for oral health, especially with fixed braces and Invisalign aligners, as it removes debris and plaque that a toothbrush might miss. Pack enough floss to last your entire trip, as finding the right type might be tricky in your area. If you find traditional flossing challenging, pack some floss threaders, too! They can make flossing effortless and fast—reducing the time you spend in front of the mirror during your vacay.
  • Over-The-Counter Pain Killers: It’s wise to pack over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These can help manage any discomfort or inflammation that might arise from wearing braces, especially after long travel days when you cannot do your usual care routine, such as applying ice.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is key, especially when you’re on the move; drinking from a reusable water bottle helps all day keep your mouth moist and clean. This will keep your breath, braces, and aligners fresh while preventing dry mouth, an unpleasant condition that can make your braces and clear aligners uncomfortable.

Remember the golden travel rule—it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! 

The above items can be used for Invisalign aligners, metal braces, or clear braces. Now, we’re going to switch gears a little and talk about things you should pack or do that are specifically helpful for your type of treatment method.

Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition

Travel Tips for Aligners

When you’re packing for a trip with clear aligners, planning ahead ensures you maintain your dental care routine without a hitch. Here are some tips for smooth traveling:

  • Protective Case: Always carry your aligners in a sturdy, protective case when you’re not wearing them. Protective cases safeguard your aligners from germs, damage, and loss. The case should be compact yet easy to spot to reduce the risk of accidentally leaving your aligners behind at a restaurant, hotel, or airport.
  • Cleaning Solution: Include a small bottle of your aligner cleaning solution—like Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or an antibacterial, scent-free hand soap—to keep your Invisalign trays fresh. This will help you maintain your aligners’ cleanliness, keeping them clear and odor-free.
  • Aligner Toothbrush: Pack a soft-bristled toothbrush dedicated exclusively to your aligners. This brush will help keep your aligners clean and scratch-free. Remember to brush them at least twice a day, just as you would your teeth, to prevent plaque buildup and to keep them looking their best.
  • Bring Extras: Having extra aligners on the trip can be tremendously helpful in preserving your orthodontic progress while on vacation. If something happens to your aligners—like you’ve lost them at an outing or they got squished in your bag because you didn’t store them properly—and you don’t have any to wear, your teeth will regress, or shift backward, and undo some of the progress you’ve made. By bringing along your previous set of aligners, you can ensure that your teeth stay in place and minimize any undesired movement until you can replace the lost or damaged ones.
Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition

Travel Tips for Fixed Braces

Traveling with fixed braces doesn’t have to complicate your plans. With a few smart precautions, you can ensure your braces stay intact, and your trip remains enjoyable. Here’s how to manage on the move:

  • Interdental Brushes: These are great for getting food particles out of tight spaces and maintaining clean braces while on the go. They’ll help make sure you don’t have food in your braces in all your travel photos, so you might want to take them everywhere you go!
  • Eating Out: When dining, choose braces-friendly foods to avoid damage. Steer clear of hard, sticky, or overly chewy foods that can bend wires or pop off brackets. Always have your braces care kit ready for a quick clean-up after meals to remove any trapped food particles.
  • Orthodontic Wax (Again): If you have a loose or dislodged bracket or a wire that is poking you in the cheek, you can use orthodontic wax to hold the bracket in place and cover the imposing wire. This will hold you over until you can return to Saddle Creek Orthodontics for repairs.
Summer Travel Guide: Braces Edition

Confidently Smile Wherever You Are with Saddle Creek Orthodontics!

As you pack your bags and prepare for summer adventures, remember that traveling with braces or aligners doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little preparation, the right tools, and Saddle Creek Orthodontics backing you up, you can ensure your orthodontic treatment continues smoothly, no matter where your travels take you.

Our teams in Germantown and Collierville are here to support your journey to a perfect smile at home or on the road. We’re always just a call away if you need us for anything. 

Enjoy your summer, travel safely, and keep smiling!