Yonkers, NY – The Riverdale Family Orthodontics team hopes all of our families and patients are having summers filled with fun and sun. But we also hope it’s filled with taking great care of your appliances and braces. Accidents can happen when we least expect them, but by following some tips from Dr. Woo, you’ll be prepared no matter where in the world you may be.
“When you are out and about traveling, it’s important to take extra care of your braces,” says Dr. Woo. “While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, you don’t want to find yourself with broken brackets or another orthodontic issue when you’re far from our office.”
Dr. Woo offers these tips to avoid damaging your braces:
- Remember what foods to avoid. Even on vacation, avoid foods that can damage your wires or pull your brackets loose. Just say no to anything too sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy. That includes:
- Foods you bite into, such as whole apples or corn on the cob
- Crusty breads, pretzels, popcorn, nuts
- Caramels, taffy, licorice, chewy candies
- Remember to brush and floss properly. Pack a travel kit to keep with you while you’re on the go that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, floss threader, extra rubber bands, and anything else needed for your braces.
- Keep your scheduled appointment to see us when you get back – especially if something happened while on vacation. Don’t wait until there is pain, irritation, or for a bracket to have been loose for too long before getting in to see Dr. Woo.
If something does happen on vacation, what should you do?
- Poking wire or irritating bracket– Occasionally, the wire that guides your teeth can move slightly and irritate or poke your cheeks or gums. What starts as just a bit annoying can quickly go to being painful. If you are traveling and can’t get in to see us, you can do a couple of things to find relief. First, pull your cheek away from the wire or brace that is causing discomfort. Then dry the wire or brace that is bothering you before placing wax over the poking wire or irritating brace. If the wire is causing a lot of irritation, you can use sanitized fingernail clippers to clip the wire behind the last bracket.
- Broken wire – You can repair broken wire the same as you would poking wire. Use a sterilized pair of fingernail clippers to clip the broken wire carefully. You can then use a pair of tweezers to gently move the wire away from your cheeks to avoid injury.
- Floating bracket – The adhesive used to place the brackets is strong, but occasionally can come loose. This is especially true if you eat foods you shouldn’t. If you find a bracket has become loose, gently guide it back to its location with the flat part of the brace against the tooth. It can be fixed at your next appointment.
- Irritation or cuts in the mouth – You may experience some minor irritation or even small cuts in your mouth while in braces. Your mouth will take a bit of time to adjust to your appliance. If you have any pain, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers and use orthodontic wax on areas that are irritated.
Traveling in braces is a snap if you are prepared. Keeping a travel care kit is a great way to ensure you stay on top of your oral care, and can handle any emergency that may come your way. Once you are back in town, schedule an appointment with Riverdale Family Orthodontics and we’ll get your braces back in proper working order.