‘Tis the season! The final weeks of the year are a time of reflection and, of course, celebration. For many, that means leaving the comforts of home and spending time with loved ones in another city, state – or even another country.
Travelling is a rewarding and exciting experience. But whether by plane, train, or automobile, travel presents unique challenges – especially for those on an orthodontic journey. With so many moving parts to get from point A to B, rest assured that with a bit of preparation, the last thing you’ll need to stress about are your clear aligners.
Here’s how to survive the holiday travel season with clear aligners.
Before boarding that flight, stay ahead of the travel game with a few simple, yet impactful tasks.
First, give your orthodontist a call. With one appointment, two key things can be accomplished:
Second, pack your aligner case. This step is non-negotiable.
Clear aligners are just that – clear and nearly invisible among the hustle and bustle of holiday festivities. Placing them on a white napkin or tissue for temporary storage is a near-guaranteed way to lose or throw them away accidentally. This reason alone is why an aligner case is, undoubtedly, a money and time-saving travel companion.
Lastly, maintaining one’s hygiene routine is key to a healthy, straight smile. Thankfully, packing a small oral hygiene kit will help keep your teeth and aligners clean.
In a compact toiletry pouch or bag, pack:
During travel, one tends to become more relaxed and may slip up on those good oral habits. And those good habits don’t stop at brushing and flossing.
Holidays are notorious for disrupting orthodontic routines. For clear aligner wearers, it’s tempting to cut short the recommended 22 hours of wear. Thankfully, there are easy strategies that will keep the party going through New Years.
First, stay hydrated. Water is the universal travel beverage of choice. It also happens to be aligner friendly and doesn’t require removal before consumption. However, if enjoying colored beverages (in moderation, of course) like soda, tea, and coffee, remove those aligners to avoid staining.
Second, unlike braces, aligners are removable. Not only can one enjoy most of their favorite foods, there’s no worry about food getting stuck between wires or brackets. But just because clear aligners provide flexibility, doesn’t mean that there aren’t precautions to take. Even with aligners removed, it’s best to avoid hard candies and gum, along with icy or spicy foods.
And, we can’t stress this enough, do not eat while wearing clear aligners. Seriously – not even mints. Maintaining that 22 hours of wear is achieved through necessary removal and diligent replacement of your aligners. Eating while wearing aligners can not only damage them, it may prolong treatment. Now that’s a holiday faux-pas.
We understand that even the best laid plans go awry. Even the most seasoned travelers deal with misplaced luggage, a stolen phone, or a lost wallet or purse. Usually, that lesson is learned once. Lost luggage? A small tracker is an affordable peace of mind. Lost or stolen belongings? Theft proof backpacks will do the trick.
Just as these travel hacks act as insurances, so do those extra pairs of aligners. If one day during your adventures those aligners are nowhere to be found, no worries. Simply pop in that spare pair, or it’s also recommended to put in the previous or next tray until you arrive back home. Once settled, give your orthodontist a ring as soon as possible.
It’s more than double to keep one’s smile on track while participating in the holiday hustle and bustle.
A little preparation, smart dining strategies, and committing to one’s orthodontic plan is a sure way to ring in 2024 without orthodontic mishaps. And once those bags are unpacked, don’t forget to schedule that post-travel follow-up.
About Truman Orthodontics – Henderson
Truman Orthodontics-Henderson provides the highest quality orthodontic care in a family-oriented high-technology practice. Combining the right mix of personal care, high technology, and continuing education, we maintain a commitment to our patients in every facet of our practice to ensure that every patient achieves a healthy and beautiful smile. For more information, visit www.trumanortho.com.