Summer vacations are a time to relax, explore new places, and enjoy quality time with your family. But if your child has braces, maintaining orthodontic hygiene on the go can be challenging.

At Doyle Orthodontics, we understand the importance of keeping your child’s braces clean and intact during your travels. Whether you’re heading to the beach, mountains, or another country, adhering to proper travel orthodontic care can help preserve the health of your child’s teeth and the longevity of their braces.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with invaluable tips to maintain braces and oral hygiene on the go, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable summer vacation. 

Why Braces Maintenance is Crucial During Vacation 

Orthodontic care isn’t just confined to appointments and daily brushing. It’s important to maintain consistent care practices, especially when you’re away from home. Here are a few reasons why braces maintenance during vacation is crucial: 

  • Prevention of Dental Issues: Regular cleaning prevents plaque buildup, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, or white spots around the braces. 
  • Protecting the Braces: Proper care helps avoid any damage to the braces, ensuring they function correctly. 
  • Maintaining Treatment Progress: Consistent care guarantees that the orthodontic treatment progresses as planned without setbacks. 


  1. Prepare a Travel Orthodontic Care Kit

Before you hit the road, make sure to pack an orthodontic care kit. This kit should include all necessary items to ensure your child can maintain their regular oral hygiene routine while away from home.  

Essential Items for Your Kit: 

  • Toothbrush: A travel-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush that can easily fit in a bag. 
  • Toothpaste: Choose a fluoride toothpaste. Travel-sized tubes are convenient. 
  • Interdental Brushes: These are essential for cleaning between the wires and brackets. 
  • Floss: If your child uses regular floss, pack that. If they prefer a water flosser, consider a portable version. 
  • Orthodontic Wax: Useful for covering any brackets or wires that may irritate the mouth. 
  • Small Mirror: Handy for detailed cleaning and checking for any food particles. 
  • Mouth Rinse: A small bottle of fluoride rinse can be useful for an extra layer of protection. 
  • Pain Relievers: In case of any discomfort, have ibuprofen or paracetamol. 
  • Lip Balm: To keep lips hydrated and prevent chapping. 

By preparing a detailed orthodontic care kit, you’ll ensure your child has all they need for braces maintenance and oral hygiene on the go. 

  1. Stick to a Routine

While vacations are a break from routine life, it is imperative to keep up with your child’s dental hygiene routine. Consistency is key to effective braces maintenance. 

Morning and Night Routine: 

  • Morning: Brush teeth thoroughly with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, ensuring all brackets and wires are cleaned properly. Follow up with flossing and use of interdental brushes to remove food particles. 
  • Night: Brush again before bed, floss carefully, and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. Encourage your child to take their time to ensure a thorough clean. 

By having a structured routine, you minimize the risk of cavities and other dental issues which can arise from neglect.

  1. Be Mindful of Vacation Treats

Summer vacations come with the lure of delicious and sometimes sugary treats. While enjoying these is part of the fun, it’s important to be mindful of how they affect braces and overall oral health. 

Foods to Avoid: 

  • Sticky and Chewy Candies: These can get lodged in brackets and are hard to clean. 
  • Hard Candies and Nuts: Risk breaking brackets or wires. 
  • Soda and Sugary Drinks: Contribute to plaque buildup and potential decay. 
  • Popcorn: The kernels can get stuck in the braces and cause discomfort or damage. 

Braces-Friendly Vacation Snacks: 

  • Fruits: Soft fruits like bananas, berries, and grapes. 
  • Dairy: Yogurt and soft cheese. 
  • Vegetables: Cut-up veggie sticks like cucumbers and bell peppers. 
  • Soft Treats: Smoothies, soft granola bars, and ice cream without hard pieces. 

By avoiding harmful foods and opting for braces-friendly snacks, your child can still enjoy their vacation while maintaining good orthodontic hygiene. 

  1. Stay Hydrated

Water is your child’s best friend while wearing braces, especially during hot summer vacations. Staying hydrated helps wash away food particles and bacteria from the braces and teeth. 

Tips for Staying Hydrated: 

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Encourage your child to drink water regularly throughout the day. 
  • Limit Sugary Drinks: These can lead to plaque and cavities. 
  • Carry a Water Bottle: Always have a bottle of water handy to rinse the mouth after meals if brushing isn’t immediately possible. 

Proper hydration contributes to overall health and supports effective braces maintenance. 

  1. Addressing Emergencies on the Go

Despite careful planning, orthodontic emergencies can happen. Knowing how to address these situations while traveling can prevent discomfort and keep your vacation on track. 

Common Orthodontic Emergencies: 

  • Loose Brackets: If a bracket comes loose, use orthodontic wax to secure it temporarily. 
  • Protruding Wires: Use a sterilized nail clipper to cut the wire if it’s causing pain, and cover the area with wax. 
  • Lost Aligners: If your child is using aligners and they get lost, try to carry a backup set and contact us for further instructions. 

Prevention Tips: 

  • Regular Checks: Encourage your child to check their braces daily to identify and address any minor issues before they escalate. 
  • Emergency Contact: Keep our contact information handy. If you’re unsure about what to do, give us a call at Doyle Orthodontics, and we’ll guide you over the phone. 

Our phone numbers for emergencies are as follows: 

  • Hendersonville: (615) 824-1700 
  • Brentwood: (615) 661-0303 
  • Cool Springs: (615) 377-3080 

By being prepared for emergencies, you’ll ensure minor issues don’t ruin your vacation.  

  1. Make Use of Travel-Friendly Oral Hygiene Gadgets

Investing in portable oral hygiene gadgets can make maintaining orthodontic hygiene easier when you’re traveling. These compact devices are designed to provide thorough cleaning on the go. 

Travel-Friendly Gadgets: 

  • Portable Water Flosser: Effective for cleaning between braces and wires, best if your child finds traditional flossing difficult. 
  • Electric Toothbrushes: Available in travel-size models with protective cases. 
  • Compact Orthodontic Kits: Pre-packed kits with all the essential tools for cleaning braces. 

Using travel-friendly gadgets ensures comprehensive oral hygiene even outside the home.  

  1. Schedule a Pre-Vacation Checkup

Scheduling a checkup with us at Doyle Orthodontics before embarking on your summer vacation ensures everything is in place and functioning well. We can address any concerns and provide tips specific to your child’s needs. 

Checklist for Pre-Vacation Appointments: 

  • Examine Braces: Make sure braces, wires, and brackets are intact. 
  • Adjust and Tighten: Provide necessary adjustments. 
  • Supplying Essentials: Top up any orthodontic supplies you may need. 

Our convenient locations are: 

  • Hendersonville 
  • 410 Parrish Place Suite 1000 
  • Hendersonville, TN 37075 
  • (615) 824-1700 
  • Brentwood 
  • 115 Penn Warren Drive, Suite 300 
  • Brentwood, TN 37027 
  • (615) 661-0303 
  • Cool Springs 
  • 95 Seabord Lane, Suite 102 
  • Brentwood, TN 37027 
  • (615) 377-3080 

Booking a pre-vacation checkup at any of our offices will provide peace of mind and ensure your child’s orthodontic treatment continues smoothly. 

  1. Educate Your Child

Empower your child with the knowledge of proper orthodontic care, so they can take ownership of their dental hygiene even on vacation. 

Teaching Points: 

  • Importance of Brushing and Flossing: Explain how these habits protect their teeth and braces. 
  • Recognizing Problems: Teach them to identify common issues such as loose brackets or wires. 
  • What to Avoid: Reinforce which foods and habits can damage their braces. 

By educating your child, you encourage independent and responsible orthodontic care. 


Maintaining orthodontic hygiene during summer vacations doesn’t have to be stressful. By preparing a travel orthodontic care kit, sticking to a cleaning routine, being mindful of food choices, staying hydrated, addressing emergencies quickly, utilizing travel-friendly oral hygiene gadgets, scheduling a pre-vacation checkup, and educating your child, you can ensure your child’s braces and overall dental health remain intact.  

At Doyle Orthodontics, we are dedicated to helping you every step of the way. Schedule a consultation with us to address any concerns before your next big adventure. Our exceptional teams at our Hendersonville, Brentwood, and Cool Springs locations are ready to support you. Enjoy your summer vacation with the assurance that your child’s smile is well taken care of.