Traveling with Braces: Do’s, Don’ts, and Dental Emergencies

Traveling with braces? You might feel a little worried about leaving home with a mouth full of metal, but there’s no need to be. Whether you’re traveling with family or taking a business trip on your own, going on a trip during orthodontic treatment is easy to handle.

Here’s how.

Traveling with Braces: Do’s, Don’ts, and Dental Emergencies

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Traveling with Braces braces on vacation

Brace-faced at Mount Rushmore.

Things To Bring When Traveling with Braces

You can click the name of each item to grab it from Amazon.

Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with your routine. Okay, maybe you won’t have the energy for a full floss after an entire day of hiking the Grand Canyon, but if you don’t keep up with your dental hygiene while traveling, your smile will suffer!

Flossing with braces is already hard AF, why make it worse for yourself. Bring a pack of floss threaders. Save yourself the headache.

Be sure to ask your orthodontist for extra dental wax to use during your trip in case any of your brackets start giving you trouble. It would be a shame to run out mid-vacation and have to deal with bloody gums the whole rest of the trip.

This bottle is a great thing to have because you can use it to swish any spare food out of your mouth, especially if you are eating on the go. After you drink the water, you can fold it up and tuck it into your purse and you don’t have to carry around a bulky water bottle all day.

Traveling with Braces braces on vacation

Brace-faced in DC.

It’s a great idea to keep a travel-sized toothbrush in your purse when traveling with braces. This way, if you need to do a quick teeth check in a hotel or restaurant bathroom, you can.

  • Extra Rubber Bands

I traveled quite a bit during my braces treatment and once left my last bag of rubber bands at a hotel in South Dakota, so I was band-less for like four days before I got more from my orthodontist and MAN did the bands hurt when I finally put them back on. Ask for an extra bag or two so this doesn’t happen to you.

You should honestly be using these things in your daily life with braces, but if you’re not, stop what you’re doing and buy some right now, immediately. They are the perfect tool for getting that piece of food that just.won’t.come.loose.

If you have a bracket break-off or a particularly pokey wire during your vacation, you can sterilize a pair of nail clippers with rubbing alcohol or soap and hot water and use them to clip down the wire. After you clip it, cover the end with wax so it doesn’t irritate your gums. Then, set up an appointment with your orthodontist for the day of (or right after!) your return. Because having braces cutting your cheek really hurts, so you don’t want to leave your clippers at home.

See also:

Things To Remember When Traveling with Braces

Traveling with Braces braces on vacation

Brace-faced at Graceland in Memphis.

  • Keep Your Diet in Check

Just because you on are vacation doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind and chow down on anything and everything in front of you. Be sure to stick as closely as you can to the dietary restrictions that your orthodontist gives you so you don’t have a dental emergency while traveling.

If you decide to eat sugary things, remember to rinse your teeth off with water and your travel toothbrush ASAP. If you’re somewhere like Italy and are desperate to try the pizza, remember to cut it up into bite-sized portions instead of biting off chunks with your front teeth, which can damage your brackets.

  • Use Your Phone To Check Your Teeth

You don’t really need to carry a pocket mirror around for post-meal teeth checks these days if you have a smartphone. If you already have a compact in your purse that you would like to use, go for it, but don’t feel the need to buy a special mirror for your teeth.

  • Remember To Tell Your Orthodontist About Your Trip

Whether you’ll have braces during study abroad, your 6-week backpacking trip through South East Asia, or even just during a weeklong summer vacation with your family, you need to let your orthodontist know as soon as you can.

If your trip is short, he or she can make sure to send you home with extra dental wax and rubber bands in case you accidentally leave them behind at the hotel. If your trip is longer, like studying abroad, you’ll want to let your orthodontist know as soon as possible so he or she can make the appropriate adjustments to your treatment plan.

See also:

Final Tips for Traveling with Braces

Traveling with Braces braces on vacation

Brace-faced in Florida with my friend Lauren.

  • They Won’t Set Off the Metal Detectors 

No need to worry about going through security when traveling with braces. The number one thing I got asked while I was in treatment and traveling a lot was “Do braces set off metal detectors?” And the answer is a solid “NOPE.” They never did. Not once. Now that I’m braces-free, the metal on my retainer doesn’t make the detectors beep either.

  • Finesse the Student Discount 

I got braces when I was 22 and had just finished college, but because of my baby face, I often was mistaken for a high school student. If you’re out of school with braces and people still think you’re 16, just go along with it. It can save you a few bucks.

  • Can you fly with braces?

Yes, you can fly with braces. Your braces won’t set off metal detectors and nothing weird will happen to them while you are up in the plane.

  • Can you eat all your favorite foods with braces? 

Your orthodontist will tell you which foods are definitely off-limits because they are too hard or sticky. However, when you are on vacation, you want to try the local foods. So let’s do a rapid-fire:

Can you eat pizza with braces?

Yes! Go to Italy and eat alllll the pizza. Just tear it into smaller pieces instead of biting it off the slice.

Can you eat chocolate with braces?

Of course! Take the chocolate factory tour and eat alllll the sweets. Just brush your teeth as soon as you can.

Can you eat burgers with braces?

Of course! Same as pizza, just cut them off into smaller pieces instead of taking a bite and pulling — which can hurt or mess up your brackets.

  • Are braces worth it?

Looking at your metal-mouthed photos from your vacation might have you down, but I can tell you that braces are 100% worth it. My new smile changed my life. It was worth it to have braces at my sister’s wedding and on a few big trips. I love my smile!

  • How long does it take to get used to braces?

It took me about two months to get used to my braces. This was so I could become comfortable with them in my mouth, figure out to how brush and floss with them, and go through my first “tightening” as well. By six months, I forgot I even had them sometimes.

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Traveling with Braces braces on vacation

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  1. Janae ogarro
    March 11, 2021 / 11:53 AM

    Did you have to pay for your braces out of pocket? What was the finances like?

    • April 25, 2021 / 6:45 AM

      We did a monthly payment plan and used our HSA to help fund them.

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