Tis the season for giving gifts, sipping hot chocolate and going on holiday vacations. We know vacations can be tough with braces, so we put together a list of tips for making your holiday with braces a little easier:

1. Pack Orthodontic Care Essentials

  • Proxabrushes (Christmas tree-shaped brush for cleaning behind wires)
  • Travel toothbrush
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Orthodontic wax is especially important on vacation, in case of any discomfort you may experience. It’s also important to travel with a small mirror, so you can easily check out any issues you may be having. We know you may be indulging on holiday sweets this time of year, so make sure you don’t skimp on your oral hygiene.

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2. Avoid Some (Not All) Holiday Foods

To protect your braces, brackets, bands and arch wires, avoid chewing snacks that are hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy. This list includes:

  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Popcorn and nuts
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard caramel or peanut candies
  • Hard cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews.

You may be tempted with a lot of different treats this time of year, so we hope this list serves as a helpful reminder for what you should avoid. However, there are still many holiday indulgences you can enjoy, such as turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and soft rolls. And if your sweet tooth is calling, stick to soft chocolates, pumpkin pie, peppermint patties, peanut butter cups and other snacks that will melt in your mouth.

3. Step up Your Brushing and Flossing Game

Carefully brush around all of your brackets and wires multiple times per day. Focus on the places where your teeth meet your hums and where each bracket attaches to your teeth, as these are the places that collect the most food and bacteria.

4. Look Up Orthodontist Information in Your Travel Area

Do some research on orthodontists near your holiday destination and have their phone numbers on hand in case something goes wrong. Being prepared will give you peace of mind throughout your vacation. Most orthodontists will be happy to lend a helping hand and help you relieve any pain or discomfort you may experience.

If you do happen to damage your braces while on vacation, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can talk you through most potential issues, or let you know if you should contact a local orthodontist to take a look. Either way, we’ll want to see you right away upon your return, as it’s important to get your braces fixed in a timely manner.

You’ve worked hard to maintain healthy braces and get a straighter smile, don’t let a different routine over the holidays set you back. Let us know if you have any questions, and enjoy your vacation!

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