Traveling with Adult Orthodontics

Plane window view

With the holidays just around the corner, we’re sure many of our patients have booked trips to visit family or vacation away from home. Just because you’re on a break from work, however, doesn’t mean you’re on a break from your other responsibilities. Adults with braces or Invisalign need to maintain good care of their orthodontic appliances even when they travel. Failure to do so can result in delayed progress. 

Never fear, your Alpharetta orthodontist is here! In order to help our patients who are planning to travel, we have compiled a short guide on how to travel when you have braces or Invisalign. You can have just as much fun with braces as you normally would – you just have to be a little cautious! Without further ado, here’s what you expect when you are traveling with adult orthodontics and how to prepare. 

Drink Water for Long Trips

If you’re going on a long road trip or plane ride, you won’t want to be dehydrated. It can lead to dry skin, chapped lips, headaches, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, or worse. That’s the last thing you want on your vacation! 

You need water for your body to maintain regular bodily functions. Plus, when you drink water, you’re also flushing bacteria and plaque from your mouth to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Since it’s super easy for food debris and bacteria to get trapped in the nooks and crannies of braces or Invisalign, we highly encourage orthodontic patients to drink plenty of water. This is especially important for long trips where you can’t brush your teeth after every meal! 

Skip the Caffeine

Some vacations are filled with long, lazy naps by the pool while others are jam-packed with activities and events. If yours falls into the latter category, you may be tempted to guzzle down a hefty amount of caffeine to get through the long days. Whether you’re exhausted from the long drive or the time difference, caffeine may sound like the perfect quick-fix. 

Unfortunately, caffeine may only exacerbate your weariness. Energy drinks and coffee are often loaded with lots of sugar that, when combined with caffeine, can cause major crashes. Caffeine can also make you a lot more jittery and anxious, making your vacation less enjoyable than you want it to be.

Caffeinated drinks, like coffee and tea, also consist of tannins. This deeply pigmented substance can cause your teeth to stain in weird patterns when you have braces. Invisalign wearers can trap the drink between their aligners and teeth. We know you want to stay alert and responsible during your trip as an adult, but sometimes, the most mature thing to do is to simply get your rest and quit the caffeine! To learn more, check out our blog on adult braces and beverages here. 

Bring extra orthodontic supplies

You never know when something can go wrong! Luggage could get lost and items could be trampled. To prepare for your trip, create an orthodontic kit with everything you need to maintain your dental health and braces. This kit may include extra wax, orthodontic flossers, mouthwash, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. 

For Invisalign wearers, we recommend bringing your last pair of aligners just in case you lose your current pair. You never know how long it will take for your orthodontist to get you a replacement pair, especially during the holiday months! Instead of letting your teeth shift back to their original position, you can at least keep them relatively straight with your last pair of aligners.

Let your travel buddies know

Our friends and family often forget what braces are like once they enter adulthood. If you’re bringing friends, family, or a significant other along, you may want to let them know about your braces or Invisalign routine. That way, they won’t accidentally throw away your Invisalign trays or orthodontic wax. You can also schedule your itinerary to accommodate to your orthodontic needs. For example, including break after lunch will give you plenty of time to brush your teeth or adjust your elastics. Plus, your friends and family will get downtime for their food coma! 

Plan for braces-friendly eats

Traditional travel snacks like trail mix, licorice, and beef jerky can damage your brackets and wires. Instead, bring grapes, string cheese, or muffins. You can also plan bigger meals to ensure you’re full and won’t need to snack as much. It can be annoying, especially for Invisalign users, to keep having to clean your teeth after every little thing you eat. 

If you’re foodies like us, your travel plans revolve around trying new restaurants and local delicacies. Most of the time, these restaurants will let you customize your meal to make it braces-friendly. Have the chef cook your meat and vegetables until they’re tender, not too chewy or crispy. For dessert, we highly recommend soft serve! 
We hope these tips help you with your travels! The holidays are the perfect time to get away from your typical work and relax with your loved ones. Before you head off, remember to book an appointment with your orthodontist for a checkup! At Newpark Orthodontics in Alpharetta, Dr. Nima can check up on the progress of your adult orthodontics. Braces patients can get adjustments and Invisalign patients can get new aligners. Give us a call or book an appointment on our site today!