Vacationing with Braces

Summer is right around the corner, and for many of us, that means it’s time to take a vacation.

For those of us in braces, being on vacation also brings up the thought of “what do I do if something happens with my braces while I am on vacation?”

The most common things to occur while in orthodontic treatment is to have a loose wire or a broken bracket.  Some people go through their entire treatment time and never break a bracket, while others are more susceptible to having a bracket break more than once.  If you break a bracket on any normal day, you can simply call our office and schedule an appointment to come in and have your bracket fixed.  But what happens if you’re on vacation?

Here are some simple tips to guide you through your vacation to help prevent compromising on your comfort:

  1. Avoid eating hard foods – they loosen, break, and bend wires and bands! ex: popcorn, apples, chewing on ice cubes.
  2. Avoid sticky foods – like taffy, caramels, and other types of candy.
  3. Don’t be too aggressive when brushing your teeth – incorrectly brushing your teeth or brushing too vigorously can cause the brackets to loosen or break. Make sure when you’re brushing that you hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and use gentle back and forth tooth-wide strokes.

If you happen to break a bracket and do not have access to your orthodontist you can follow these steps:

  1. Assess the extent of your broken bracket and control the issue –  Did the bracket fall off? Is there a wire sticking out?  If the bracket is still attached to your tooth, you can use wax to place onto the bracket to hold it in place until you are able to visit your orthodontist.  If there is a wire sticking out, you can gently use the end of a pencil eraser or a cotton swab tip to move/ tuck it back into place, or you can clip it by very carefully using nail clippers as close as possible to your teeth and use wax over the wire to prevent it from cutting the inside of your mouth or cheeks.
  2. Rinse your mouth regularly – If there is any type of cut or irritation, you can use a salt water rinse or professional mouth rinse to promote healing,
  3. Call your Orthodontist to book an appointment – Drs.Tarek Abousheta and Bahar Ghafouri will want to see you as soon as you’re back from your vacation to fix your broken bracket or loose wire.  Be sure to contact us by phone at 949-786-7800 or on our website by submitting an online Appointment Request.

A broken bracket does not mean an orthodontic emergency, but we do want you to be as comfortable as possible so you can enjoy your vacation and not have a pesky wire or broken bracket interfere with your fun!!

Be sure to ask us at your next appointment for wax to bring on vacation with you so you can be prepared in the event you need it!