You’re going on holiday. Great. For a week or two — maybe longer — you can let down your hair down and forget about the everyday stresses of daily life. If you wear dental braces, though, be prepared. After all, we’d hate for a twisted wire or broken bracket to spoil your fun.
If you’re planning a significant time away, get a braces ‘warrant of fitness.’ It won’t take long, and your orthodontist will be able to check that everything is in place, so you can have peace of mind.
What to pack
To ensure your braces are well maintained, put together a holiday hygiene kit. Here’s a list of what to include:
- a travel toothbrush
- dental floss (we recommend Superfloss, as it makes flossing easy and is available at most pharmacies)
- orthodontic wax (this prevents any protruding wire from causing discomfort)
- elastic bands
- a bottle of mouth rinse
- a mirror to enable you to inspect your braces.
To eat or not to eat?
While on holiday we often try foods we might not normally eat. However, please avoid foods that are hard, chewy or sticky. We suggest that patients with braces brush two to three times a day. However, the chances are that your teeth will be exposed to more enamel-eating sugar than usual, so try to brush more often.
Anyway, on the subject of food, here are some definite no-no’s:
- corn on the cob
- boiled sweets
- nuts such as peanuts, almonds and cashews
- hard bread rolls
- hard biscuits (or dunk them in your coffee or Milo first)
Some foods you can eat
Of course, there is a myriad of foods you can eat. Here are some:
- Fruit— cut whole fruits, like apples and pears, into wedges before you eat them. Fruit like bananas, oranges, grapes and berries are generally safe to eat.
- Dairy products — cheese and yogurt are nice, safe options.
- Sandwiches — try with avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper.
- Walnuts — although most nuts will do your braces no favours, walnuts are softer and are usually okay to eat.
- Desserts — custard, ice cream and chocolate.
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