Paul, MN – Summer often means traveling, vacation, and a lot more time outdoors. Camping is a favored pastime for many people, as it offers a respite from hectic “real world” life and a chance to fully relax in a beautiful setting.
However, if you have Invisalign or other orthodontics, you might dread the idea of not having running water readily on hand. How can you unwind when you have to take care of your aligners? Here, we offer some tips to help you prepare for your camping trip or other travel while using Invisalign.
- Talk to your dental professional. Before you leave on your trip, be sure you’ve discussed it with your orthodontist or dentist. That way, she can make sure you have the correct sets of aligners if you’ll be gone during the transition to your next tray. In some cases, you can get the new tray before you leave so you can take it with you. It’s also wise to bring your previous set of aligners in case anything happens to your current ones.
- Be prepared for a lack of water. Since you likely won’t have access to running water, you’ll want to take one or more of the following actions beforehand: ● Bring a sufficient supply of bottled water with you. ● Find a way to purify existing water. This may include water treatment tablets, filters, or boiling. ● Make sure you can adequately wash your hands before cleaning your aligners. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can work if necessary, but clean running water with soap is always best.
- Plan out your meals. Since Invisalign should be removed before eating and drinking anything except water, you’ll need to plan what you’ll eat and when. It’s much easier to snack during camping than in day-to-day life, but be prepared to properly care for your aligners. Will you snack throughout the day, or stick to main meals? How will you wash your aligners after each instance? Do you have somewhere to safely store them while you eat or drink?
- Look into handy products specifically for camping with Invisalign. Luckily, with the popularity of Invisalign and similar devices, there are more and more ways to manage on-the-road care. Some possibilities include: ● Cleaning wipes, which make care easier when water supplies are limited ● Sprays designed to clean retainers, Invisalign, and mouth guards quickly and easily ● Effervescent tablets, much like those used for dentures. These require soaking and a rinse but also don’t need much running water. ● Toothbrush protectors to prevent germs from accumulating. This can help with good oral care overall and are great for when you want to make sure you’re preventing bacteria from infiltrating your aligners.
- Anticipate the inconvenience. Yes, you’ll need to plan ahead for the care of your Invisalign while camping, but preparing ahead of time can greatly reduce stress and anxiety while you’re out in nature. Bring an extra case or two in case one is lost or damaged. Make sure you’re still wearing your aligners for 22 hours a day or more. Carry mouthwash for swishing out your mouth as needed. If you’re flying to your destination, make sure to pack all of your care items in your carry-on luggage, as checked luggage is more likely to get misplaced. And finally, remind yourself that this is temporary: you’ll be able to clean your aligners more thoroughly when you return home, and the treatment itself won’t last forever!
For more information about Invisalign or to plan for a vacation while undergoing orthodontic treatment, schedule a free consultation with an ORTHODONTIST today! You can also call our St. Paul/Minneapolis-area office at 651-447-6768.
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