You’ve loaded your Kindle with thrillers, stocked up on sunscreen, and packed it all into your trunk by playing your best game of real-life Tetris ever. But, don’t hit the road just yet! If you’re hoping to squeeze in one last trip in before fall’s upon us, make sure you’re prepared to care for your braces and Invisalign. Here’s what you will need:
- Emergency Contact Information
Before you board that plane, make sure you have our phone number handy (That’s 425-404-2350 for Issaquah or 253-852-7331 for Kent!). In the case of an orthodontic emergency, we can talk you through the next steps. Most of the time, you’ll be able to wait until you’re home to come in for a follow-up appointment, but we can also help you over the phone or direct you to a nearby orthodontist in case you need to be seen.
Pro tip: take a photo (with flash) of the problem before contacting us. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in this case and will help us be able to triage the issue much more quickly and accurately.
- Emergency Care Information
Many appliance issues can be fixed yourself with a few readily available tools. Of course, you can always call us for help, and you should definitely do so if you or your child is in pain! Here are a few tips and tricks for dealing with common hardware issues:
- Protruding wire: If a wire comes loose and is irritating the inside of the mouth, there are a couple solutions you can DIY. First, try using the eraser end of a #2 pencil to nudge the wire back flat against the teeth until your next appointment. Next, place a piece of wax over the offending wire to reduce irritation and provide stability.
- If a wire is extremely irritating and you won’t be able to come into our office anytime soon, you may (as a last resort) try to clip the wire. Use a pair of clean, sharp nail clippers to cut the wire and folded tissue or gauze around the area to reduce the possibility of the patient swallowing the snipped wire. Then, cover the offending location with orthodontic wax.
- Irritation of lips or cheek: If a bracket or wire is causing irritation to the mouth, simply place a piece of wax over the area. First, make sure the bracket or wire is very dry. Next, pinch off a pea-sized piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then flatten completely. Place this piece of wax over the irritating area.
- Loose bracket: If a bracket becomes loose, call us! We’ll help you with the best next steps for your situation. In the meantime, you can place wax over the loose bracket to provide stability or slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth.
- Lost Invisalign aligners: Make sure you bring your most recent set of Invisalign aligners with you when you travel! That way, if you happen to lose your current set, you can continue to wear aligners. Call us, and we’ll let you know what the next step is. Typically, we recommend that patients simply proceed to the next aligner.
- Lost retainer: You’ve heard us talk ad nauseum about the importance of wearing your retainers, so a lost retainer can actually be an emergency! Call us if you discover you’ve lost retainer, and we’ll let you know if you need to head to a local office to have impressions made.
- Braces Travel Kit
Aside from the regulars, like toothpaste, orthodontic toothbrush, and floss, these items are a must-have for your braces travel bag:
- Interdental toothbrush
- Wax or Gishy Goo. Gishy Goo is a silicone-based product that acts like orthodontic wax
- Ibuprofen, in case of soreness.
- No. 2 pencil, for possible protruding wires
- Clean, sharp nail clippers, for possible protruding wires
- Gauze or tissues, for possible protruding wires
- Invisalign Travel Kit
First off, if you’re traveling with Invisalign, make sure you notify us at least two weeks in advance. In case the date you should receive your new aligners falls on a date that you’ll be out of town, we’ll want to plan ahead by providing the next set or discussing another option. Once you’ve got the aligners you need, here’s what you should pack for your Invisalign travel bag:
- Your Invisalign cases: Always put your Invisalign aligners inside their case, and you’ll be much less likely to lose them!
- Your current aligners and most recent aligners: Of course, you know how important it is to wear your current aligners an average of 22 hours a day, but make sure you bring your most recent aligners in case you lose your current pair! This will help prevent losing all the amazing progress you’ve worked towards.
- Denture tablets: For on-the-go cleaning, denture tablets can be very useful! They’re portable and work well for travel.
Where are you going (and can we come with you)?