Healthy Teeth During Vacation
Summertime and vacations can be much-needed sources of stress relief. However, many people’s oral health takes a plunge during these times. People eat foods on-the-go that can hurt the teeth and they couple that with poor oral hygiene habits. Keeping a healthy mouth while you are away from home takes planning and only a tiny bit of effort. We can help you with tips to have healthy teeth no matter if you are home or traveling!
Normal Hygiene Routine
Not enough people brush and floss their teeth, nor do they do it on vacation. Normally, we recommend that every patient brush their teeth at least twice a day to keep their mouth healthy. Brushing is vital for having healthy teeth, because the bristles mixed with decay-fighting toothpaste helps remove acidic plaque and debris from your teeth. Every patient should be brushing their teeth after breakfast each morning and before they go to sleep.
Brushing your teeth at night is extremely important because plaque and debris has built up over the day. If you skip brushing, all the gunk will sit on your teeth, eroding your tooth enamel, causing decay. A normal oral hygiene routine consists of brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, followed by thoroughly flossing the teeth. Some patients will floss between every tooth before brushing, and follow brushing with flossing again. After that, using mouthwash is a great way to kill off extra bacteria that is still in your mouth. If you use a fluoride treatment, make sure you leave it on your teeth and don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes. This routine can be done at home, at work and even on vacation.
Healthy Teeth During Vacation
Even if you’ve been planning for months, you still might forget something you need and remember it when it’s too late to go back home. One thing that people forget is their oral hygiene routine. Because of the location of travel or not having all of your things with you, it might be difficult to have healthy teeth during vacation. You might not have a sink on-hand or products you need to clean your teeth.
Plan ahead for your vacations by bringing an oral hygiene travel kit for those days you are on vacation. A travel pack is perfect for days spent away from home and comes in handy for making sure you have healthy teeth at work. Check your local grocery store for a hygiene kit for traveling. These kits generally have everything you need, not just for oral hygiene. If you want to make a very small kit of your own, include:
- A small container (a soap holder can do) to fit a mini toothbrush in. Travel toothbrushes are shorter than most phones.
- Mini container of toothpaste—find ones that contain fluoride, if you can.
- Small container of floss, or floss strips that you have previously cut and rolled up.
- A mini mouthwash container
- Small hand-held mirror to see your teeth.
- Any appliances needed if you wear braces or have a retainer
- A slip of paper with your dentist’s contact information on it in case of emergencies.
Your travel kit will depend on what oral hygiene products you use on a daily basis. You will have to add in extra products if you have braces or an oral health condition.
Having healthy teeth on vacation or at work takes minimal planning. Use these tips for healthy teeth when traveling:
- Make a checklist of what you need so you don’t forget anything.
- Schedule a dental check-up before a long vacation (especially out-of-country or an extended vacation). If dental problems are present, get them fixed asap.
- Contact a U.S. embassy if you have a dental emergency and are out of the country. They can refer you to a dentist.
- Take bottled water with you. It will keep you hydrated, and you can brush with the water if you are in a place where public water is questionable.
- If you lose things easily, keep a travel oral hygiene kit in your suitcase and always have it stay there.
If you don’t have a toothbrush while traveling, don’t just skip brushing! Borrow toothpaste from a relative and brush your teeth with a wet washcloth. If you don’t have toothpaste either, still brush with the wet washcloth. Anything is better than nothing! If you have forgotten a toothbrush, try to limit the acid and sugary foods and drinks you eat. Eating healthy can help you have healthy teeth even if you don’t have a good way to brush and floss.
Healthy Teeth Year-Round
Having healthy teeth isn’t hard. In fact, it only takes a few minutes every day to keep your smile bright and beautiful. What do you need for having healthy teeth and a mouth free of disease?
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every single day. Brush after every meal to reduce your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and more.
- Brush for 2 minutes every time, making sure to brush every tooth, front and back, top to bottom, and in circling motions.
- Use ADA-approved toothpastes, toothbrushes and oral health products that are tested for their efficiency in preventing oral health problems.
- Floss 1-2 times every day. Use about 18 inches of floss each time, making sure every few teeth get a fresh area of floss. This prevents spreading around bacteria. Scrape floss along the teeth to remove stuck-on plaque.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for comprehensive exams and dental cleanings, as recommended by the American Dental Association.
These habits only take a few minutes of your day. You have 1440 minutes every single day to work with. If you want healthy teeth now and on vacation, make sure you are using a few of those minutes for oral hygiene habits. For tips on taking care of you or your child’s teeth, contact Dr. Ania’s office at (303) 872-9940!