Whether you’re setting off on a solo adventure or a family vacation, oral and dental health is one of those aspects most travelers tend to overlook. Since you’ll be miles away from your regular dentist’s office, it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead and adopt the right habits, especially if you have a sensitive dentition.
In this dedicated guide, we’ll provide plenty of easy and useful tips to help take care of your teeth when you’re traveling, no matter the destination!
PACK SOME ESSENTIALS
Prior to your departure, you’ll need to make sure you’ve purchased and packed everything you need for your trip. This includes a new brush suited for your teeth (standard or electric, and possibly a back-up one), a tube of toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. Consider travel-size items for convenience. Disposable toothbrushes can also be a nice option to avoid bacteria build-up due to moisture.
GO FOR A FINAL CHECK-UP
It’s always a wise idea to visit your dentist one last time before you set off. Procedures such as teeth cleaning, descaling, or cavity filling are best-taken care of at home. If you wear braces and are considering removing them before you travel, your dentist might recommend an invisible alternative to braces that will be just as efficient. Whether you live in Melbourne or Miami, be sure to reach out and schedule an appointment at least a week or two before your trip.
BRUSH, FLOSS, WASH
As mentioned, adopting the right habits is of the essence. Experts recommend brushing at least twice a day to keep a clean and fresh smile. Follow this with some flossing to cleanse your in-betweens of any food residues and bacteria. Lastly, use a mouthwash to finish it up and ensure fresh breath. There you have it, a fast and efficient routine on-the-go!
LIMIT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
You’ve certainly heard this a million times: Sugar is your teeth’s worst enemy. If you’re headed to a particularly sweet destination, such as Morocco or India, you may want to hold off on all those delicious and sinful pastries. Sample as much as you want, but don’t start and end your day with a plate of sweets. This will go a long way in helping you maintain good oral and dental health.
MIND THE FOODS YOU EAT
Likewise, avoid consuming overly hot or cold foods, no matter how big of a foodie you are. Sudden changes in temperature can affect and take a severe toll on your sensitive teeth, causing discomfort, pain, and other complications. So, try to consume foods that are lukewarm or at room temperature as much as possible. Your dentist will most likely thank you for it!
OPT FOR SUGAR-FREE GUM
Chewing gum has been shown to have several benefits, including a fresher breath, enhanced concentration, fighting boredom… as long as it’s sugar-free! A piece of gum after a meal can promote saliva production and help sweep food particles away. It’s also a great way to freshen your breath and avoid indulging in overly sweet snacks if you’ve got that deadly sweet tooth.
CHECK THE WATER QUALITY
As a general rule, whether you’re used to drinking tap water, it’s best to drink bottled water only when you’re abroad. Since not all countries have the same tap water quality, filtration, and treatment methods, you’ll want to avoid consuming water from unverified sources (even if you’ve been told it’s clean and filtered). This goes for brushing and mouth washing, too.
BUY A MOUTHGUARD
Are you planning to engage in some adventurous activities during your trip? Whether it’s a contact sport or other potentially dangerous endeavors, you’d best ensure that your teeth stay safe. Investing in a mouthguard is your best chance of protecting your dentition and avoid losing any while you’re having your fun!
FIND A LOCAL DENTIST FOR EMERGENCIES
Lastly, but importantly, be sure to find the contact for a reputable local dentist if you ever suffer an injury, chip a tooth, or experience sudden bleeding. These emergencies require immediate attention to avert complications, so treating them as early as possible is of the essence. If your health insurance doesn’t provide international coverage, you can subscribe to an additional coverage plan to avoid spending thousands of dollars.
All things considered, going on a trip doesn’t exempt you from taking care of your precious smile and maintaining good oral hygiene. Whether it’s a quick trip or a summer in Hawaii, it’s important to adopt the right habits and be prepared. Hopefully, the tips listed here will keep your dentist from having a fit once you make it back home!