I’m documenting my daughter’s and my experience with Invisalign clear aligners. I’m a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, and we’re receiving complimentary treatment as part of the program.
My daughter and I recently began Invisalign treatment, and one of my first questions for the orthodontist was: how do you travel with Invisalign?
We started treatment weeks before leaving on the longest trip we’ve ever taken together: almost a month traveling to Europe and New York. I was concerned that dealing with our aligners away from home might be complicated, or that my daughter might lose them.
Now that I’m back I can confidently say that travel with Invisalign is easy. But a little planning helps. Here are four tips for traveling with Invisalign:
1. Notify the orthodontist about your travel dates at least two weeks before you travel.
With Invisalign, you change aligners every two weeks. If your bi-monthly “change” day happens while you’re traveling, you’ll need to have your next set of aligners with you. You might already have them on hand, otherwise your orthodontist should be able to give them to you in advance…as long as he or she knows you’re heading out of town.
2. Have a plan in case the aligners get lost.
Because we were traveling internationally, our doctor recommended popping in the next set of aligners in case the current set got lost. Had we been traveling domestically, he could have shipped replacement aligners to our hotel. Invisalign Teen comes with up to six replacement aligners at no extra charge.
Check with your orthodontist for his or her recommendation before you leave, and be sure you have his or her phone number on hand while you travel.
3. Pack a portable kit.
This was the key for us. My daughter carried a small bag with all of her Invisalign supplies. (This works well during school, too.) Because there was only one place to store her Invisalign — the bag! not a pocket, not in a napkin, not in my purse — she always knew where it was.
This is a big deal, because she’s prone to losing things. But we’ve both agreed that her Invisalign is her responsibility, and she’s been incredibly conscientious about keeping track of her aligners.
If you’re flying, keep your Invisalign supplies in your carry-on luggage.
NOTE: The kit above includes rubber bands because my daughter needs to wear them as part of her treatment. Not everyone does.
4. Plan for on-the-go cleaning.
You have to remove your Invisalign trays during meals, and when it’s time to brush your teeth. We each carried a travel toothbrush, travel-sized toothpaste, and denture tablets (for morning cleaning in the hotel room).
The denture tablets are optional (you could just brush the aligners with a bit of toothpaste) but I like the ease of a daily 15-minute soak. Plus, it’s fun to watch the tablets fizz.
NOTE: If the tap water isn’t safe to drink, brush teeth and soak aligners with boiled, filtered, or bottled water.