Summertime is a great opportunity to hit the road or hop an airplane and see something new. While travel is often a time to try new things and take a break from the regular routine, remember that you can’t take a break from oral health. Here are some tips to make it easier to keep your teeth and gums top of mind while traveling.
Travel-Friendly Flossing and Brushing
No matter where your travels take you, daily brushing and flossing is the cornerstone of oral health and should still be a part of your routine on the road. In addition to regular toothpaste and a toothbrush, you might also want to pack some single-use teeth wipes that fit over your finger and don’t require water to use. These are ideal for on-the-go cleanings, such as when you’re on a long flight and don’t have your toiletry kit with you.
Stock Up on Sugar-Free Gum
Another great on-the-go item is gum. Chewing gum (sugar free, of course!) after eating is a smart and simple way to help boost your oral health because the chewing motion stimulates saliva. Saliva not only helps wash away food particles that may remain after a meal, but also contains minerals such as calcium that help remineralize – i.e., strengthen – the teeth.
Drink Lots of Water
There are lots of reasons to drink lots of water, which isn’t surprising considering it accounts for approximately 60% of the adult human body by weight. Water is vital to oral health because it promotes saliva production and staves off dry mouth, which itself can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. So keep that water bottle handy and drink regularly throughout the day, especially when you’re out and about and can’t brush soon after meals.
Bring Along Your Retainer
You may be worried about bringing your retainer along on a trip, but if it’s for more than a couple days, do it. Just be sure to carry it in its case and take good care of it. There are two reasons to continue wearing your retainer while traveling. One is that teeth can start to move back to their original spots surprisingly quickly, so you need your retainer to keep them in place. The other is that once you get out of the habit of wearing your retainer, it can be hard to get back into the habit once you’re home. The same goes for night guards and other oral appliances – take them with you and use them as instructed.
Visit the Dentist Before You Go
If you have a serious trip planned – say, for example, you’re heading off on a month-long cross-country road trip, or are going on safari for ten days – do yourself a favor and see the dentist before you go. This is especially important if you’ve experienced any tooth pain or sensitivity recently. You don’t want your trip to be derailed by an excruciating toothache, cracked crown, broken filling, or the like, especially when you’re far from home.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy this summer doesn’t have to ruin the fun. Just plan ahead and take a few minutes a day to attend to your oral health.