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How to Look After Your Braces on Holiday

posted 11/09/2016

How to Look After Your Braces on Holiday

It’s that time of year when many of us are still jet setting off to warmer climes for a bit of Autumn sun. Amid organising work commitments before you leave, you probably have a list a mile long of tasks to complete, as well as purchasing any holiday items you might need, plus the all-important packing.

Whilst toothpaste is usually on the list, it’s easy to forget about the care of your braces in the pre-holiday chaos.

At Southampton Orthodontic Centre we give care instructions to patients when their braces are first fitted, but if you have any particular concerns, we are here to help.

Your holiday is a time for rest and relaxation, so we’d like to make sure you don’t have to worry about your braces during this precious time of recuperation.

That brings us on to another topic for looking after your braces on holiday. If you’re anything like us, half the joy of travelling overseas, or indeed having a staycation, is the food!

You may want to try local delicacies and specialities or just generally eat more of what you want and take a break from a potentially stricter regime back home.

Whilst we don’t wish to be kill joys about your culinary holiday treats, we’d like to give you some tips about the types of food that are likely to cause problems, damages or breakages to your braces; and perhaps have a negative impact on an otherwise fun holiday.

Armed with this information you can then make an informed decision when the waiter inevitably wafts that aromatic smelling, delicious looking, platter of pizza under your nose!

Foods to avoid:

  • Hard foods may break or damage wires and brackets. If possible keep clear of ice, nuts, popcorn, apples, celery, carrots (unless cut into small pieces), hard taco shells, crusty bread, pizza crust, corn on the cob (unless cut from the cob) and beef jerky.
  • Gooey and sticky foods can get caught up between brackets and wires. Chewing gum is at the top of the banned list, (sugar-free or regular types), closely followed by chewy sweets such as toffee, caramels, cookies and Turkish Delight.
  • It’s also a good idea to limit sugary and starchy foods such as pies, pretzels, cake, ice-cream, crackers and crisps.
  • Sugary and acidic foods and drinks are also going to attack your teeth and braces, so if you can keep carbonated drinks such as coke, lemonade, Tango, fruit juices and sugar sweetened drinks to a minimum, this will also protect you and help prevent staining your teeth in the process.

If you haven’t already got one it’s a good idea to take a mini mirror (or download an app) so that you can see all the nooks and crannies that food can potentially get stuck in.

Emergency DIY Repair

If you do find you have an incident that breaks or damages your braces whilst away, here are some ideas to make a quick fix until you get home and can visit your orthodontist for a proper repair:

  • Wax – If a wire or bracket comes lose the best thing to do is simply cover the sharp end with specialist wax. If you don’t have any wax something like a clean piece of rubber might also work.
  • Rubber bands – these are recommended to be worn throughout the day if your braces have hooks, except when eating and brushing your teeth. This will help prevent the hooks catching on the inside of your cheeks.
  • Painkillers – If you recently had an adjustment and your teeth are feeling sore you can try rinsing your mouth with warm, salty water. The other alternative is to take medication such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for a short time.

Here at the Southampton Orthodontic Centre we have special holiday kits to keep you covered for all eventualities on holiday. Just ask one of the team.


If you are the active type who prefers to play beach volley-ball or contact sports it’s vital to protect your braces from damage with a gum shield. If you are taking part in a sport that requires you to wear a helmet, such as horseback riding, cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, rock and wall climbing, canoeing, kayaking, skating and skiing to name but a few, we’d recommend also wearing a gum guard to be on the safe side.

Lastly, you should also maintain your usual oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth, gums and braces healthy.

The only thing left to do is to have a happy holiday!

If you would like some advice, please call us on 02380 220 008 or via email at southampton@braces4u.co.uk