With spring break just around the corner, people everywhere are looking forward to warmer weather, spare time, and plenty of fun. But for patients with orthodontic work, spring break can also be a time of temptation filled with higher risks for poor oral care and bad food habits that threaten braces. To help you keep your braces in their best state, we’ve compiled how spring break vacation food could affect your oral health, and our favorite tips for healthy smiles and aligned teeth based on your destination!
This spring break, if you’re jet setting away or boarding a cruise ship for a vacation far from home, there are plenty of opportunities for you to eat foods that damage braces. And just because you’re far from your orthodontist doesn’t mean that your braces or teeth won’t sustain damage from poor eating or hygiene. Avoid sodas, sugary desserts, and candy—sugar stays on teeth and eats away at enamel. If you do choose to indulge in sugar occasionally, remember to brush your teeth afterward to remove plaque buildup. For patients with braces, plaque often accumulates in hard-to-reach areas, so be sure to brush thoroughly.
While on your vacation, avoid banned foods—ones that are hard, chewy, or sticky. Nuts, taffy, or ice are all foods you should avoid regardless of the occasion. These could bend or break your wires or brackets, leaving you with broken braces during your vacation. Even if you only eat approved foods, remember to pack your orthodontic wax just in case you experience an emergency. If you can’t get to an orthodontist, the wax will keep broken braces or wires from hurting you while you are away.
If you are flying to your destination, avoid chewing gum on the plane. If your ears pop without gum, try sipping water or pinching your nose and blowing gently. Though gum can be a useful remedy for air cabin pressure changes, the risk of bending or damaging your braces isn’t worth it.
If you stay local this spring break, you should still follow your orthodontist’s instructions—even if you are technically on vacation! Going to the movies? Avoid popcorn. This salty snack can break your brackets or bends wires. Headed to a local barbecue? Don’t eat corn on the cob or meat with bones, like ribs or chicken wings! While corn on the cob spells disaster for your braces by often getting stuck in hard to reach areas, bones in meat can cause your braces to break if you bite down too hard.
If you’re headed on a road trip, bring snacks that are filling, but not harmful for braces. Instead of beef jerky or granola bars with nuts, try chips, sandwiches, or pastries. Your braces will thank you!
Enjoy Your Spring Break with Safe Foods
Regardless of what your plans are during this spring break, remember to eat consciously, bearing in mind both your braces and your oral health. Generally, soft, low-sugar and low-acid snacks are best. However, remember that your oral hygiene also depends on proper oral care, so be sure to brush and floss—even while on vacation! If you have any questions about your orthodontics or if you want to schedule an appointment, call us today. We can’t wait to help you keep your teeth as beautiful, healthy, and as perfectly aligned as possible!