4 Essential Vacation Tips for Your Braces

Have any upcoming vacations on your calendar? (If so, can you pack us in your suitcase?!)

While travel is fun and exciting, it can also be more challenging to take care of your braces or Invisalign. Whether you’re on the road or speed-walking to make your connecting flight, travel can be hectic.

No matter whether you’re enjoying a day at the beach or on the slopes, travel takes you out of your daily routine. That’s one of the best parts, but this deviation from the norm can negatively impact your orthodontic plan if you’re not careful! Here are four key tips to keep in mind while traveling with braces.

Patient with braces files to vacation destination

1) Snack Smart

Unfortunately your braces don’t get any PTO; they are on you full-time! (Unless, of course, you have Invisalign.)

Nothing puts a damper on a fun day like losing a bracket, especially if you are far away from Asheville, North Carolina and the team here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics.

While we don’t want you to miss out on the interesting foods of a new region, here are some things you always should skip:

  • Bagels
  • Candies that are:
    • Chewy
    • Gummy
    • Sticky
  • Hard or chewy:
    • Bread
    • Cookies
    • Rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ice (this is a sneaky, common culprit!)
  • Nuts of any kind
  • Pretzels
  • Whole raw fruits and vegetables
    • Fruits and veggies are usually fine if they’re cut small

Remember, you can still treat yourself! You can eat ice cream as long as it doesn’t have a hard cone or crunchy toppings. With a food like pizza, you can cut it up into smaller bites. There are ways to handle vacation meals without compromising your braces or the joy behind that smile. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Invisalign Tips

If you have Invisalign, you already know you can eat whatever you’d like when your aligners are out. That being said, it’s easy to neglect the mandatory 22 hours of wear if you’re sipping pina coladas on a beach! Make extra sure you’ve set your timer for your eating/drinking non-water windows, so you don’t fall behind on your progress.

If you lose an aligner to a napkin in a “We’re about to miss our tour bus!” moment of panic, don’t worry. Simply use your previous or next aligner for the time being, and let us know what happened either by email or when you get back home to the Asheville area.

2) Keep Up Your Routine

Vacation is a great time to relax and leave your responsibilities behind, but this doesn’t include your brushing and flossing regimen. It may be tempting to do a sub-par job brushing in the morning, if you’re ready for a fun-packed day or just want to fall into that hotel bed at night without flossing. However, you don’t want a week or two of fun to negatively impact the smile you’ll have for the rest of your life.

Not to mention that good dental hygiene will make your smile look nice and shiny for those inevitable social media vacation selfies!

3) Pack a Travel Kit

We’ve talked about the braces kit before, but sometimes people stop needing them. If you don’t need wax because your braces never rub, you keep an extra toothbrush and floss in your locker/desk/car, and you use your phone as a mirror, you might be all set in your day-to-day life.

If you’re about to hit the road, however, you may find yourself needing a kit again! Here are the important items to include:

  • A Compact Mirror – Vacations are sometimes so go-go-go that your phone might be dead at the end of a long day. Having a tiny compact mirror for checking your teeth in situations like this is ideal.
  • Travel-Sized Toothbrush – Since you’re not near your school locker or work desk (yay!), you don’t have that second toothbrush to fall back on. Slip a small, foldable toothbrush into your purse or pocket for those post-meal cleanings on the go.
  • Dental Floss – There’s nothing more annoying that having something between your teeth. You don’t want to spend part of a day with your tongue struggling in vain over that stringy bit of cubed mango, so make sure you have some floss and floss threaders on hand.
  • Orthodontic Wax – Speaking of things you don’t want, it’s always a bummer if one of your brackets starts rubbing, and you’re stuck without wax. A packet of orthodontic wax is easily slipped into a wallet or pocket for that extra comfort insurance – just in case!
  • Water Bottle – Staying hydrated on vacation is important, so having a water bottle on hand kills two birds with one stone. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to brush your teeth after a meal or snack, swishing water around your mouth is the next best option.

Your travel kit will help ensure that each vacation day goes smoothly. Make sure to remember your sunscreen, too!

4) Before You Go, Let Us Know

Schedule a pre-vacation appointment here at Blue Ridge Orthodontics before you leave. A last checkup can ensure all your brackets and wires are in place. If needed, we also can make adjustments to the upcoming appointments on your schedule, though this is typically only necessary for longer vacations.

If you do have big travel plans, such as an entire summer abroad, it’s best for us to know as soon as you do.


Most importantly, have an absolutely wonderful vacation! We hope you gained value from these four tips, but we encourage you not to worry too much. In the case of a broken bracket or other urgent problem, you can see an orthodontist who practices in your current area. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 828- 585-6045 if you have any questions or need help.

Here’s to rocking Blue Ridge Orthodontics braces or Invisalign anywhere across the globe! Bon voyage!