Oral Care Tips While on Vacation
Going on a trip this summer doesn’t mean you should take a vacation from good oral care. Follow these tips to keep your smile bright and healthy while your family enjoys some time off from work and school.
Visit the Dentist
If it’s been about six months since your last dentist appointment, try to fit in a visit before you leave town, especially if you have any pain or other concerns. A thorough exam and dental X-rays allow the dentist to find any problems while they’re still in the early stages, making treatment easier and more affordable.
If you practice good oral care at home, chances are your dentist won’t find any problems. However, by setting an appointment, you’ll enjoy peace of mind on your vacation.
Transport Your Toothbrush Properly
You normally store your toothbrush in a dedicated spot in the bathroom, but when you travel, the extra handling, dirty luggage, and hotel bathrooms give bacteria a greater opportunity to hitch a ride on the bristles and into your mouth. To keep your toothbrush clean and sanitary, you must keep it protected.
Before stashing it in a carrying case or resealable plastic bag, make sure your toothbrush is completely dry. Otherwise, the wet bristles invite bacteria to grow and thrive. If it’s been about three months since you last replaced your toothbrush, you might plan to swap it out for a new one when you get back in town.
Pack Sugarless Gum
Chewing gum increases saliva flow, helping to wash away food particles, neutralize acids, and strengthen tooth enamel. For these reasons, the American Dental Association recommends chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal to help prevent cavities. Remember to pack sugarless gum on your vacation so you can follow this oral care tip.
If in Doubt, Drink and Brush with Bottled Water
Traveling to a different country or going on a wilderness adventure can be an amazing experience, but the water might not be as clean as what you’re used to at home. If you have any trepidation regarding the water quality, don’t drink or brush your teeth with it. Instead, break out the trusty bottled water when you get thirsty. Following this tip will help keep you from getting sick or developing teeth and gum issues resulting from exposure to harmful bacteria.
Bring a Tooth Preservation Kit
If you’re going on a high-adventure trip, the risk of having a tooth knocked out could be a real concern. For peace of mind, pack a tooth preservation kit in your suitcase. This contains a sterile balanced salt solution, which is the ideal liquid for storing a dislodged tooth until you can get to a dentist.
If you have a dental emergency, and there’s no tooth preservation kit available, transport the tooth in a container of milk or the person’s saliva. You can also place the tooth between the person’s lower lip and gum. Whatever method you use, don’t store a knocked-out tooth in tap water. Then, seek prompt medical attention to increase the chances of saving the tooth.
Watch What You Eat
Vacations are commonly used as an excuse to splurge on sugary drinks, unhealthy snacks, and extra desserts. Why not make a conscious choice to eat healthier on your upcoming trip? Pack nutritious snacks from home so you’re less tempted to indulge in food that isn’t good for your teeth. Also, book a hotel with a kitchenette so you can do some in-room cooking instead of eating out for every meal.
Stick to Your Oral Care Routine
You might not return to your hotel room until late at night, but you should always brush and floss before climbing into bed. Remember to bring travel-size versions of all your usual oral care items, including toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.
If you forget to pack something important, your hotel might have a complimentary kit you can use. If you’re roughing it in the mountains without a toothbrush, put some toothpaste on a clean cloth or your finger. Even rinsing your mouth out vigorously with water is better than nothing. Then, get to a drugstore as soon as possible to buy the items you forgot.
Optimize Your Oral Care with Help from Our Boulder Dentist
Need a dental cleaning before your upcoming vacation? Set an appointment with Dr. Ania! If you’re visiting Boulder, Colorado from out of town, we can also assist you if you have a dental emergency during your travels. Give us a call at (303) 872-9940 to speak with our dentist about any oral care concerns you have.