Orthodontic Hygiene Tips for Summer Vacations from Creekside Orthodontics 

Summer vacations are a delightful time for families to relax, explore new places, and create wonderful memories. While enjoying these moments, it’s essential to keep up with your child’s orthodontic care.  

 At Creekside Orthodontics, we understand the importance of maintaining braces and oral hygiene on the go. Whether your family is hitting the beach, hiking in the mountains, or visiting relatives, our travel orthodontic care tips will ensure your child’s treatment stays on track. 

The Importance of Travel Orthodontic Care 

Consistent orthodontic care during vacations is vital to avoid any setbacks in your child’s treatment and prevent potential discomfort or emergencies. Proper braces maintenance ensures the continuous progress of your child’s treatment, reducing the risk of complications. By following our tips, you can help your child maintain their oral health, ensuring their braces remain in excellent condition throughout your summer travels. 

Pre-Travel Preparation 

Effective preparation is the key to ensuring smooth orthodontic care during your vacation. Here are some steps to consider before heading out: 

  1. Schedule a Pre-Travel Checkup

Before embarking on your summer adventure, schedule a checkup at our Billings office: 

  • Creekside Orthodontics 1241 N Transtech Way Billings, MT 59102  
  • Phone: 406.652.4020 

A pre-travel appointment allows us to ensure that your child’s braces are in optimal condition and to address any potential issues. This proactive step helps prevent problems during your trip and provides peace of mind. 

  1. Pack an Orthodontic Travel Kit

A well-stocked orthodontic travel kit is essential for maintaining braces and oral hygiene on the go. Your kit should include: 

  • Travel-sized toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste: Ensures effective cleaning after meals. 
  • Orthodontic wax: Alleviates discomfort caused by brackets or wires. 
  • Interdental brushes or proxabrushes: Helps clean around brackets and wires efficiently. 
  • Dental floss or a floss threader: Removes food particles lodged between teeth and braces. 
  • A compact mirror: Allows for quick self-checks and adjustments. 
  • Extra elastics: If your child uses them for their orthodontic treatment. 

Maintaining Braces and Oral Hygiene on the Go 

Keeping up with your child’s braces maintenance while traveling can be challenging, but it’s critical for their treatment’s success. Here are some tips to help you manage this effectively: 

  1. Stick to Routine Brushing and Flossing

Encouraging your child to maintain their regular oral hygiene routine is crucial. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Brush After Every Meal: Use a travel-sized toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure your child brushes for at least two minutes, focusing on cleaning all surfaces, especially around brackets and wires. 
  • Floss Daily: Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between teeth and around braces. A floss threader can simplify the process and ensure thorough cleaning. 
  1. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining oral health by washing away food particles and bacteria: 

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Encourage your child to drink water frequently, especially after meals, to help rinse their mouth and reduce the risk of cavities. 
  • Limit Sugary and Acidic Drinks: Beverages like sodas and fruit juices can harm enamel and increase the risk of dental issues around braces. 
  1. Choose Braces-Friendly Foods

Vacation treats can be tempting, but it’s important to choose foods that are safe for braces: 

  • Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods: Steer clear of popcorn, nuts, hard candies, and sticky sweets that can damage braces or get lodged in them. 
  • Opt for Soft, Nutritious Snacks: Consider yogurt, cheese sticks, soft fruits (cut into bite-sized pieces), and smoothies for healthy, braces-friendly options. 

Handling Orthodontic Emergencies While Traveling 

Despite careful preparation, orthodontic emergencies can still occur. Here’s how to manage common issues that may arise during your travels: 

  1. Loose or Broken Brackets

If a bracket becomes loose or breaks: 

  • Apply Orthodontic Wax: Cover the loose bracket with wax to keep it in place and prevent irritation. 
  • Contact Creekside Orthodontics: Call us immediately at 406.652.4020 for guidance on whether immediate action is necessary. 
  1. Poking Wires

Poking wires can cause significant discomfort. Here’s what to do: 

  • Adjust the Wire: Use a clean spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the wire back into a comfortable position. 
  • Apply Orthodontic Wax: Cover the protruding wire with wax to minimize irritation and protect the soft tissues in the mouth. 
  1. Lost Rubber Bands

If your child loses a rubber band: 

  • Carry Extra Elastics: Include spare elastics in your orthodontic travel kit. 
  • Replace Immediately: Swiftly replacing lost rubber bands is crucial to maintaining the effectiveness of the treatment. 

Making Braces Maintenance Fun and Engaging 

Maintaining good orthodontic hygiene doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some engaging ways to keep your child motivated: 

  1. Enjoy Braces-Friendly Recipes

Make mealtime enjoyable with delicious and orthodontic-friendly recipes: 

Fresh Fruit Smoothies 

Smoothies are a healthy and refreshing treat that’s gentle on braces: 

  • Ingredients: Blend frozen berries, banana, Greek yogurt, and juice or milk until smooth. 
  • Instructions: Serve chilled for a nutritious and delicious snack. 

Yogurt Parfaits 

Yogurt parfaits are delightful and soft, perfect for braces wearers: 

  • Ingredients: Layer Greek yogurt with honey and add soft fruits like blueberries and strawberries. 
  • Instructions: Assemble the parfait and enjoy a tasty braces-friendly snack. 
  1. Turn Oral Hygiene into a Game

Making oral hygiene routines fun can encourage consistent brushing and flossing: 

  • Use a Timer: Utilize a fun timer or an app to ensure your child brushes for the full two minutes. 
  • Create a Reward System: Set up a reward chart to motivate your child to keep up with their brushing and flossing schedule. 

Scheduling a Checkup Before School Starts 

As summer draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to schedule your child’s orthodontic checkup before the new school year begins. At Creekside Orthodontics, we recommend booking an appointment to ensure their treatment is progressing smoothly and to address any concerns before school starts. 

Visit Our Office 

  • Creekside Orthodontics 1241 N Transtech Way Billings, MT 59102 Phone: 406.652.4020 

A back-to-school checkup allows us to review your child’s progress, make any necessary adjustments, and provide additional guidance on maintaining their orthodontic care during the busy school year. 

Final Tips for a Smooth and Carefree Vacation 

By preparing ahead and following these essential tips, you can ensure your child’s orthodontic care remains a priority during your travels. Here are some final tips for maintaining effective braces care: 

  1. Pack the Essentials

Having the right tools on hand makes braces maintenance much easier: 

  • Focus on the Essentials: Ensure you pack toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax, and a compact mirror in your travel kit. 
  1. Maintain Consistency

Consistency in routine is vital for maintaining good oral hygiene: 

  • Stick to Regular Brushing and Flossing: Encourage your child to brush and floss twice daily. 
  • Stay Hydrated and Choose Wisely: Promote drinking water and selecting braces-friendly snacks to ensure oral health. 

Orthodontic Care for Sports 

Summer vacations are also a time when many children participate in sports and other high-energy activities. Here are a few additional tips to keep your child’s braces safe while they stay active: 

  1. Wear a Mouthguard

If your child plays contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is crucial for protecting their teeth and braces: 

  • Custom Mouthguards: Consider investing in a custom mouthguard designed specifically for braces. These offer better protection and comfort compared to generic ones. 
  1. Stay Vigilant

Encourage your child to be mindful of playing safely to avoid any accidents that could damage their braces: 

  • Safety First: Remind them to avoid rough play and to always wear protective gear. 

Teaming Up for Oral Health 

Maintaining your child’s orthodontic hygiene while traveling is a team effort. Here are some tips to ensure you’re all on the same page: 

  1. Lead by Example

Children imitate their parents, so maintaining good oral hygiene yourself sets a strong example. 

  • Brush and Floss Together: Make brushing and flossing a family activity, especially when traveling. 
  1. Use Visual Reminders

Keep oral hygiene tools easily accessible to your child to encourage their use: 

  • Place Tools in Clear View: Leave their orthodontic travel kit in a visible spot, reminding them to use it regularly. 

Addressing Common Concerns 

We understand that parents often have concerns about maintaining their child’s oral hygiene during travel. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers: 

  1. What if We Forget the Travel Kit?

If you forget the orthodontic travel kit, find a local pharmacy to purchase essential items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. 

  • Always Plan Ahead: Make a checklist to ensure you pack all necessary items. 
  1. How Can We Handle Different Time Zones?

Adjust your child’s routine to fit the new time zone while maintaining the same frequency of brushing and flossing: 

  • Flexibility is Key: Focus on morning and evening routines regardless of the exact times. 

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips 

Thinking about the environment while caring for your braces is also important. Here are some eco-friendly tips: 

  1. Use Refillable Travel Containers

Instead of buying travel-sized products, use refillable containers for toothpaste and mouthwash. 

  • Reduce Waste: This helps in reducing plastic waste and is often cheaper in the long run. 
  1. Select Eco-Friendly Products

Choose toothbrushes made from sustainable materials like bamboo. 

  • Environmental Impact: These items are biodegradable and reduce the overall environmental footprint. 


Summer vacations should be a time of joy and relaxation, not stress over orthodontic care. At Creekside Orthodontics, we are committed to ensuring that maintaining braces and oral hygiene on the go is simple and effective. By following our tips, you can keep your child’s orthodontic treatment on track and their smile bright and healthy. 

To keep their orthodontic care on schedule, be sure to schedule a checkup before the school year begins. Call us today at 406.652.4020 to book an appointment at our Billings office. Let’s make this summer unforgettable while keeping those smiles shining bright! 

Happy travels and healthy smiles from the team at Creekside Orthodontics!