Summer Orthodontic Travel Tips

Summer vacations are full of fun and relaxation, but what if something happens to your braces while you’re away?  No worries, here are some handy tips and a list of supplies you’ll need in order to treat some common orthodontic emergencies until you’re able to get to the orthodontist.

Supplies list:  Pencil, nail clippers, Q-tips, orthodontic wax, Ora-gel, emery board

1.       Ligatures Come Off/Loose

Ligatures are the small elastic bands or wires that hold the wire around your brackets and are sometimes used to add color to your brackets.  Typically when one elastic band comes off, others come off as well so be sure to see your orthodontist as soon as you return from vacation to have them replaced.  If you have wire ligatures, you can bend them back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser until you can visit your orthodontist.

2.       Protruding Wire

Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth so it’s no longer irritating your mouth.  If you’re not able to push the wire back in place, you may clip it with a pair of nail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol.  If the wire is still bothering you, add some orthodontic wax over the wire to prevent further irritation until you can visit your orthodontist.


3.       Cheek or Lip Irritation

Many times braces can irritate your lips and cheeks as you’re eating.  To prevent irritation, add some orthodontic wax to the affected areas to provide relief.  You may eat with the wax in place, it’s harmless if ingested.


4.       Mouth Sores

Other than minor irritation to the lips and cheeks, braces do not cause mouth sores.  However, some brace wearers are prone to sores and their braces can cause further irritation.  Adding a small amount of Ora-gel as needed with a cotton ball or Q-tip can provide temporary relief until the sores heal.  Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also assist in the healing process.


5.       Aligners are Irritating your Gums

While it’s best to have your orthodontist make any needed adjustments to your aligners, you can use an emery board to file down any jagged edges of your aligners that may be irritating or poking your gums.