Ortho Hygiene Tips for Summer Vacations from Red Rock Orthodontics 

Summer vacations are a time for adventure, relaxation, and making lasting memories. Whether you’re headed to the beach, camping in the mountains, or exploring new cities, maintaining orthodontic hygiene while traveling is crucial, especially when you’re wearing braces. At Red Rock Orthodontics, we understand the challenges that come with travel orthodontic care and we are here to help you with some essential braces maintenance tips for a worry-free summer vacation.  

The Importance of Orthodontic Hygiene While Traveling 

Orthodontic hygiene is always important, but it becomes even more crucial when you’re away from your usual routine. The combination of new foods, different environments, and disrupted routines can lead to some common orthodontic issues. Follow our tips below to ensure your braces stay clean and functional, and your smile remains bright throughout your travels. 

Pack a Travel Orthodontic Care Kit 

One of the most effective ways to maintain oral hygiene on the go is to prepare a travel orthodontic care kit. Here’s what you should include: 

  1. Toothbrush: A travel-sized toothbrush with soft bristles is essential for brushing after every meal. 
  2. Toothpaste: Opt for a fluoride toothpaste to help protect your teeth against cavities. 
  3. Floss: Dental floss or floss picks designed for braces can help remove food particles stuck between brackets and wires. 
  4. Orthodontic Wax: Wax can prevent discomfort and irritation caused by braces rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips. 
  5. Interdental Brush: These are perfect for cleaning between brackets and under wires. 
  6. Mouthwash: An antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can add an extra layer of protection for your teeth and gums. 
  7. Pain Relievers: In case you experience any soreness or discomfort, having some over-the-counter pain relievers can be handy. 

Brushing and Flossing on the Go 

Traveling can disrupt daily routines, but it’s important to stick to your orthodontic hygiene regimen as closely as possible. Here’s how: 

Brush After Every Meal 

  • Consistency is Key: Try to brush your teeth after every meal, even when you’re on the move. This helps to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup. 
  • Proper Technique: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Angle the brush at 45 degrees and carefully clean around each bracket and wire. 

Floss Daily 

  • Floss Threaders: These are useful for threading the floss under the archwire of your braces. 
  • Floss Picks: These can be more convenient for quick flossing, but make sure they are designed for braces. 

Interdental Brushes 

  • Easy Access: These small brushes are excellent for getting into the nooks and crannies around your braces, ensuring they stay debris-free. 
  • Daily Use: Use these brushes daily to augment your regular brushing and flossing routine. 


Foods to Avoid During Summer Travels 

While it’s tempting to indulge in all your favorite summer treats, some foods can be problematic for braces. Here are some foods to steer clear of: 

  1. Sticky Candy: Avoid caramels, gummy bears, and chewing gum as they can get stuck in your braces. 
  2. Hard Foods: Stay away from hard candies, nuts, and popcorn kernels that can damage your braces. 
  3. Crunchy Foods: Be cautious with hard tacos, chips, and raw vegetables like carrots that can bend or break wires. 
  4. Sugary Snacks: Limit sugary drinks and snacks that can increase the risk of cavities. 

Safe Alternatives: 

  • Soft Fruits: Opt for soft fruits like bananas, berries, and melon. 
  • Dairy Products: Cheese, yogurt, and milk are safe and healthy options. 
  • Cooked Vegetables: Lightly steamed or cooked vegetables are safer than raw, crunchy ones. 
  • Cut Foods: Cut apples, pears, and other crunchy fruits into small, manageable pieces. 

Staying Hydrated 

Hydration is important for overall health and particularly for maintaining good oral hygiene. Here’s why hydration matters and how to keep up: 

Benefits of Hydration 

  • Saliva Production: Water stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids. 
  • Prevents Dry Mouth: Staying hydrated prevents dry mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath. 

Hydration Tips 

  • Carry a Water Bottle: Always have a water bottle handy to sip throughout the day. 
  • Avoid Sugary Drinks: Instead of sodas and sweetened beverages, stick to water or milk. 
  • Infused Water: For a refreshing twist, add slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint to your water. 


Handling Orthodontic Emergencies While Traveling 

Orthodontic emergencies can happen, but knowing how to handle them can make a big difference. Here’s what to do in common situations: 

Loose or Broken Brackets 

  • Temporary Fix: If a bracket becomes loose or breaks, orthodontic wax can help hold it in place temporarily until you can visit your orthodontist. 

Poking Wires 

  • Comfort: Use orthodontic wax to cover any poking wires to prevent discomfort and irritation. 
  • DIY Solution: In a pinch, you can carefully trim the wire with sanitized nail clippers. 

Lost Alignment 

  • Keep Supplies Handy: Always carry some extra elastics if they are part of your treatment. 
  • Seek Help: If you experience a significant issue, call us for advice on the next steps. 

Pain and Discomfort 

  • Pain Medicine: Use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 
  • Salt Water Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help soothe any irritation or soreness. 

Routine Examinations Post-Vacation 

Once you return from your summer adventures, it’s a good idea to schedule a follow-up appointment. Here’s why: 

Ensure Proper Alignment 

  • Check-Up: This ensures your braces are still aligned correctly and making the necessary adjustments to your teeth. 

Professional Cleaning 

  • Thorough Cleaning: Our professional cleanings can remove any plaque or tartar buildup that might have occurred during your travels. 

Problem Detection 

  • Catch Issues Early: Early detection of any problems with your braces or oral health can prevent more serious complications down the line. 

Contact Information 

  • Spanish Fork Office: Schedule your appointment by calling (801) 798–1118. We are conveniently located at 389 N Main St. 
  • Payson Office: Call us at (801) 465–1118 to book a visit to our Payson office at 814 S Main St. 

Creating a Lasting Routine 

Consistency is crucial for maintaining excellent orthodontic hygiene. Here’s how to establish a sustainable routine: 

Morning Routine 

  • Brush and Floss: Start the day with thorough brushing and flossing. 
  • Interdental Brushes: Use these to ensure you’ve cleaned around all brackets and wires. 

Midday Care 

  • After Meals: Brush and floss after every meal, especially if you’ve consumed sugary or sticky foods. 
  • Drink Water: Stay hydrated throughout the day to maintain healthy saliva levels. 

Evening Routine 

  • Final Brush: Ensure you brush before bed, taking extra care to clean all surfaces of your teeth. 
  • Mouthwash: Rinse with an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash for added protection. 


Engage with Orthodontic Influencers 

For more tips and advice on maintaining orthodontic hygiene on the go, consider following reputable pediatric dental influencers. These experts regularly share valuable insights and practical tips to keep your child’s smile healthy and radiant even while traveling. 

  • Smiling Braces: A popular account offering tips, tricks, and personal experiences from an orthodontic perspective. 
  • Braces Bites: Focused on foods and recipes safe for braces, this influencer is a must-follow. 
  • Healthy Smiles Squad: Pediatric dentists share their knowledge and engage with parents about maintaining excellent oral hygiene. 


Plan Your Next Visit with Us 

Ensuring that your child’s braces are well-maintained can make a significant difference in the outcome of their orthodontic treatment. At Red Rock Orthodontics, we are dedicated to providing top-notch care and guidance throughout the treatment process. Schedule a checkup with us today to ensure your child’s smile stays bright and healthy. 

Contact Us 

  • Spanish Fork Office: Call (801) 798–1118 to schedule your appointment. 
  • Payson Office: For the Payson location, call us at (801) 465–1118. 

You can also visit us online to learn more about our services, tips for maintaining orthodontic hygiene, and to book an appointment. Stay proactive with your orthodontic care, enjoy your summer travels, and keep that beautiful smile shining bright!