How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy While Traveling This Summer

According to U.S. News, “Stir-crazy Americans are beginning to travel again as the summer vacation season gets underway after coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders were lifted across the country.” This is exciting news for the travel industry. With Americans preparing to travel for summer vacation, it is the perfect time to discuss how to keep your teeth healthy while traveling this summer.

Schedule a Checkup with your Houston Dentist

Unfortunately, when people rearrange their schedules according to summer travels, they tend to skip their Houston dental appointments. This is a mistake. Rather than cancel your upcoming Houston dental checkup, call the office, and see if they can move your appointment to a day before your trip. This is important because you don’t want to travel with a potential dental problem.

123 Dentist explains, “The dentist can look for signs of problems you’ll need to monitor while traveling and give you tips for how you can care for your teeth and respond to an emergency. It’s recommended to undergo any necessary serious procedures, such as a root canal, well before you leave the country.” Preventative care is always recommended.

Maintain Your Oral Care Routine

During vacation, we like to relax. But one thing we should not relax on is our oral care routines. It is important to maintain your oral care routine even when you are away from home on vacation. This means you should keep brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing, and using mouthwash. If you think you will be tempted to skip out on your oral care routine on your trip, then set alarms on your phone for reminders.

Stock Up on Oral Care Supplies

Whenever possible, try to take your normal oral care supplies, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, etc., with you on a trip. However, there will be many times when this is not possible. In those cases, it is wise to stock up on travel-sized oral hygiene products before your trip or as soon as you arrive.

Travel products come in different sizes, but Colgate explains how to calculate how long that tube of travel-sized toothpaste will last. “A basic conversion shows that one U.S. ounce converts to 1.8 cubic inches, so you can get up to three brushings from each ounce of toothpaste. For a travel size toothpaste with 3.4 ounces in the tube, that means you can expect to get 9 to 10 brushings. Depending on how many times you brush each day, it’s fairly simple to determine how long it will last you in terms of time.”

You may want to consider products like Colgate Wisps. These are disposable, single-use toothbrushes that are pre-pasted and don’t require water to use. While these will not replace your regular toothbrushing, they will work for long flights.

Protect Your Toothbrush

At home, you likely just let your toothbrush air out in a toothbrush holder or on the counter. However, this is unwise while traveling, especially in different climates. Additionally, you want to keep your toothbrush out of contact with everything else in your toiletry bag. Do not simply dump your toothbrush along with everything in the toiletry bag. If you do, your toothbrush will get dirty. Instead, use a toothbrush case or simply place your toothbrush in a separate plastic bag.

Always Use Bottled Water to Brush

If you are traveling somewhere where you do not know if the water is safe to drink, you should also avoid using tap water to brush your teeth. Instead, use bottled water to brush your teeth. This will keep you healthy and safe while abroad.

Drink Plenty of Water

Speaking of water, it is important to drink plenty of water every day. But, it is also a great way to keep your teeth healthy while on vacation. Simply rinsing your mouth with water between meals will go a long way towards keeping your teeth clean.

Chew Sugarless Gum

When you are packing for your trip, especially one that requires a flight, make sure you pack your favorite sugarless gum. Mouth Healthy explains, “Chewing sugarless gum can help relieve ear pressure during a flight – and help keep cavities at bay on vacay. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent cavities. That’s because it gets saliva flowing, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria.”

Pack Pain Relievers

It’s always wise to pack pain relievers when going on a vacation. Not only do pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen work for headaches and muscle aches, but they also work for toothaches. However, if you are aware of tooth pain before your trip, you should make an appointment with a Houston dentist before you go.

Keep Oral Care Supplies in Reach

You never know when there will be travel delays, and you do not want to be without your oral care supplies. That’s why we recommend you always keep your oral care supplies in reach. Instead of packing them in your checked luggage, pack the essential oral care supplies (such as toothbrush and toothpaste) in your carry-on, purse, or computer bag. Just make sure whatever you pack as a carry-on item makes TSA size requirements (this is when travel-sized toothpaste comes in handy).

Use Mouthwash

If you don’t have time for your usual routine or feel awkward brushing your teeth in an airport bathroom during a layover, rinse with mouthwash. Rinsing your mouth for 30-60 seconds will freshen your breath and protect your teeth from cavities. Keep in mind that this is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth, so make sure you continue your oral care routine as soon as possible.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Another thing we tend to relax on vacation is our diets. We eat and drink differently than we do at home. The carbonated beverages and the sugary snacks wreak havoc on your teeth, so limit yourself.

Before your trip, make an appointment at Greenspoint Dental.