Posted on August 30th, 2021

illustration of a colorful blue and red carrying case holding toothbrush, floss, tissue, and compact mirror for a braces survival kit

A braces survival kit is a must-have for students heading back to school, and for anyone that wears braces when they are away from home. Check out our guide for everything you need, and download our free, printer-friendly checklist so you don’t forget anything when shopping for supplies.

Back to School with Braces

If your children wear braces and are going to school in person this year, they will need to bring several items with them to keep their teeth clean and maintain their braces—A.K.A., a braces survival kit.

Braces Survival Kit for Work, Travel, or Anytime Braces-Wearers are Away From Home

School isn’t the only place braces-wearers need to be prepared: If you’re an adult undergoing orthodontic treatment, then you will want to bring a kit with you to work to maintain your investment, keep your breath fresh, and avoid the embarrassment of lunch leftovers stuck in your teeth and braces.

A braces survival kit is also handy for situations like sleepovers, business trips, and vacations; so, keep reading to discover everything you need to keep your braces clean on the go.

What Goes Into a Survival Kit for Braces?

The following list includes everything you’ll need to make your own DIY braces survival kit.

1. Travel-sized Toothbrush and Toothpaste—Braces Survival Kit Must-Haves

braces care kit travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush

Even if you don’t put together a full-blown braces survival kit, you should at the very least carry a travel-sized toothbrush and tube of toothpaste with you when you’re on the go.

For an even more convenient (though, perhaps, less eco-friendly) option, Crest, Colgate, and other brands make disposable, pre-pasted mini brushes (like Wisps).

2. Interdental Brushes

A purple and blue package of dentek interdental brushes with 4 individual brushes arranged diagonally next to it

Interdental brushes are great to have on hand both at home and when you’re away. These disposable brushes bend and flex, making it easier to access hard-to-reach areas. And, they have tiny bristles that seek out food particles trapped between your teeth and braces.

3. Travel-sized Mouthwash

3 travel-sized bottles of Listerine alcohol-free mouthwash

Rinsing with mouthwash will help keep your breath fresh throughout the day and will remove food particles and kill germs from places your travel toothbrush didn’t reach. Opt for a mouthwash that has fluoride for added protection against cavities.

4. Floss and Threader or Flossers

flossers, floss, and floss threader

Flossing can be a challenging task when you wear braces. But, it’s more important than ever to include it in your oral hygiene routine when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, even when you’re away from home.

If you choose to include traditional floss in your braces care kit, then do yourself a favor and throw in some floss threaders as well—they will save you time and make getting the floss between your braces so much easier.

Alternatively, you could put a pack of flossers in your kit instead. Platypus and other brands make flossers that are specifically designed to work with braces.

5. Orthodontic Wax

GUM brand orthodontic wax

Next up on our list of essential items for a braces survival kit is orthodontic wax.

During the initial phase of orthodontic treatment and for the first few days after subsequent adjustments, your lips, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks may become irritated from your braces.

Orthodontic or dental wax acts as a barrier between your mouth and the sharp or rough surfaces of your braces, and will greatly reduce any discomfort you may be experiencing.

Even after your mouth adjusts to your appliance (don’t worry, it will!), it’s still a good idea to keep some wax on hand in case of an emergency, as it can protect your mouth from a broken wire or damaged bracket until you can see your orthodontist to have it repaired.

6. Lip Balm

5 varieties of Jack Black lip balm

Your lips may become more dry or chapped during your orthodontic journey, so lip balm is another item you’ll want to keep in your braces care kit. If you’re not already committed to a particular brand, check out our favorite lip balms for dry, chapped lips from braces or Invisalign.

7. Save Face by Including a Compact Mirror in Your Braces Survival Kit

red compact mirror for your braces survival kit

No one wants to get caught with pieces of food stuck in their braces! A quick check in a compact mirror after eating will prevent those awkward moments, so be sure to include one in your braces survival kit.

8. Tissues

3 packs of Keenex brand pocket tissues arranged diagonally

Let’s face it—drool happens sometimes. Keeping some tissues on hand will make quick work of cleanup when the need arises.

9. Pain Relievers

3 travel packets of Advil arranged overlapping each other with two pills in front of them

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol can ease the pain of new braces or discomfort following an adjustment. Just make sure you have your physician’s approval, use only as directed, and only when needed.

In the case of children and teens, OTC medication should only be administered under a parent or guardian’s supervision. Additionally, you should check with your students’ schools to make sure pain relievers are allowed before including them in their braces survival kits.

10. Braces Survival Kit Carrying Case

3 carrying cases for a braces survival kit arranged horizontally

Keep your braces survival kit items handy by putting them all in a dedicated carrying case. Even better if the case is in favorite color or pattern–if you have to wear braces, you might as well have fun with it (cases pictured above available at Target)!

11. Water

several colorful reusable water bottles arranged in a pyramid formation

Your mouth may feel drier than usual when you first wear braces (Invisalign, too, for that matter), so it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of water with you when you’re on the go (water bottles pictured above available on Amazon).

Braces Survival Kit Printer-friendly Shopping List

That concludes our list of everything you need to put together your own DIY braces survival kit. Click on the link below to download the printer-friendly list so you don’t forget anything when you go shopping for supplies.

Printer-Friendly Braces Survival Kit Shopping List

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments if you wear braces and there’s something that you can’t leave home without.

You may also want to check out our braces-friendly packed school lunch ideas if your braces survival kit is for a student heading back to school.