It is that time of year that many patients in Santa Barbara, California tend to go on summer vacation. While it is fun to break the daily routine of regular life, keeping up with orthodontic care is essential. In this article, Orthodontics of Santa Barbara has compiled five ways our patients can have the summer vacation they deserve while managing their oral health and staying on track with their orthodontic treatment!
Orthodontic issues have the potential to prolong treatment time. For example, each time we need to repair a bracket or wire can set us back from moving forward. Thus, preventing orthodontic problems will help patients finish treatment sooner and avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort. At Orthodontics of Santa Barbara, we understand that issues will still arise periodically. However, there are several things orthodontic patients can do to circumvent them and be prepared, especially while on summer vacation:
1. See Your Orthodontist Before Leaving Town
Making an appointment at Orthodontics of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA prior to leaving town can help patients have a worry-free vacation. When you come in to see us, we can simultaneously check your progress and dental wear while making any necessary adjustments. If you wear metal or porcelain ceramic braces, we can ensure that the brackets are sturdy and there are no loose wires. We want you to have a headache-free vacation as much as you do!
2. Take What You Need with You on the Trip
Packing an orthodontic care kit helps give patients everything they need for a variety of situations, from regular oral hygiene needs to removing food stuck between brackets. Here are several oral care essentials to consider when packing for your summer getaway:
These items are essential since having what you need when you need it can make all the difference. It can also potentially prevent an orthodontic emergency while you are on vacation.
3. Avoid the Same Foods and Drinks as You Would at Home
Summer vacations are often associated with loose diets and sweets. However, waiting to splurge until after orthodontic treatment can help save your summer vacation. For example, breaking a bracket or dislodging a wire can be unpleasant to deal with, as can a stuck piece of food. The best way to avoid orthodontic issues is to eat and drink the same on vacation as if you were still at home. Forgoing hard, sticky, and chewy substances will help preserve your teeth and orthodontic wear. In addition, drinking plenty of water and saying no to sugary drinks will help keep your enamel and orthodontic appliances in good shape.
4. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine
We all have set routines, and we can get a little off when we are out of them. However, keeping your oral hygiene routine is imperative during summer vacation. It is one routine that does not have room for much flexibility, and it includes brushing at least twice per day and flossing a minimum of once per day. Keeping interdental brushes, floss picks, and a small bottle of mouthwash can hold you over in between brushing sessions if you are out and about. However, once you return to where you are staying, it is important to resume your oral hygiene regimen.
5. Ensure You Know What to Do in an Orthodontic Emergency
None of us like to think of orthodontic emergencies, but they are something patients need to be aware of so they know what to do about them. Whether it is using orthodontic wax to prevent a loose wire from poking and irritating the gums or deploying an interdental brush to remove stubborn food particles caught between brackets, orthodontic preparedness is vital. Additional tools that can help during an orthodontic emergency include tweezers, cotton swabs, and nail clippers. While many orthodontic issues can be resolved by the patient until they can see their orthodontist, there are times when patients may need to visit the ER or see another orthodontist while out of town.
Will Another Orthodontist See Me if I Am Out of Town?
Sometimes we do all we can do, and an orthodontic emergency still occurs. In this case, you may need to see an orthodontist if you are out of town. Many out-of-town orthodontists are willing to temporarily help patients until they are able to return home and visit their regular orthodontist. Having the names, phone numbers, and addresses of several trusted offices in the area you are staying in can help provide ease of mind while on vacation. In addition, if you are unsure what to do, Orthodontics of Santa Barbara will be happy to provide you with orthodontic advice.
Making an appointment with Orthodontics of Santa Barbara before packing your bags and heading out of town for the summer can help catch many orthodontic issues before they arise. We will note your progress at your appointment, make adjustments if needed, and ensure your dental wear is intact. In addition, packing your orthodontic essentials, avoiding specific foods and drinks, maintaining an oral hygiene routine, and being prepared in the event of an orthodontic emergency can save your summer vacation from going awry. It is tempting to underestimate orthodontic issues or to let ourselves eat and drink what we want while we are away. However, this can cause problems and an orthodontic emergency that can potentially ruin an otherwise perfectly good vacation. Instead, abiding by these five tips can help you have the getaway you desire and deserve!
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