Hot weather brings out the traveler in all of us. We plan family vacations, go on road trips with friends, and take a break from our usual busy lives. With that break however, comes a disruption in our normal dental hygiene routine. While a vacation from our stressful lives is a good thing, a break from our dental routine can be harmful to our smiles. We forget to brush and take care of our smile, which leads to cavities and other dental problems. To keep up your dental hygiene while traveling, follow these tips.
KEEP UP YOUR DENTAL HYGIENE WHILE TRAVELING WITH THESE TIPS
Watch What You Eat
Vacations are the perfect excuse to indulge a little when it comes to food choices. You eat more fast food, drink more sugary drinks, and choose the pastries instead of the toast at your hotel for breakfast. While it may be tempting, all that sugar is an invitation for cavities. Instead, pack healthy snacks like peanuts, cheese, or fruit and stock up on healthy breakfast items. This will help prevent cavities from forming at a time you are supposed to be having fun.
Staying hydrated during a trip is important in and of itself, but drinking plenty of water can also help maintain your healthy smile. Water helps flush out the bacteria that accumulates in your mouth throughout the day. It can also wash away some of the sugar you consume to help prevent cavities.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Vacations often involve air travel, which can cause dry mouth and bad breath. A dry mouth allows acid to sit on your teeth and wear down enamel. Chewing gum can help stimulate your saliva ducts and neutralize acids. To avoid a dry mouth and the cavities that appear because of worn enamel, chew sugarless gum to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
Take a Clean Toothbrush
When packing for your vacation, be sure you pack a clean and dry toothbrush. A damp toothbrush creates the perfect environment for bacterial growth, and you certainly don’t want to brush your teeth with a bacteria filled toothbrush. To keep it dry throughout the trip, let it dry up right so water doesn’t pool in the bristles of the brush. If you happen to forget your toothbrush and happen to be staying at a hotel make sure to ask the front desk for one. Many hotels will provide these as a courtesy to their guests.
Pack All the Essentials
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all essential acts in keeping a healthy smile, especially if you are breaking away from your normal routine. Try to stay consistent and brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash regularly to keep up your strong smile. Flying should be no excuse either since they make travel sized toothbrushes and mouthwash that is designed for air travel. You can even take these items with you while out and about and brush, floss, or rinse throughout the day.
Use Safe Water
You may be traveling to a location that has unsafe water. A good rule of thumb is that if you are advised against drinking the water, then you should also avoid brushing your teeth with the water. Brushing with water that is unsafe can expose you to bacteria that are dangerous to you, even if you avoid swallowing. Instead, brush with the water that you drink and avoid exposing yourself to bacteria. Bottled water is always a good idea if you are unsure about the local water.
Vacation can be relaxing and re-energizing, but it can also be bad for your smile if you let dental hygiene slip to the back of your mind while traveling. Following these few simple tips can help you maintain your pearly whites and enjoy that summer sun without worry.