Your bag is nearly ready for your business trip when you realize you haven’t packed your toothbrush yet. Your meetings will go long every day and you won’t have time for trips to a drugstore, so what exactly do you need to take besides the toothbrush?
It’s easy to let routines slide a bit when you travel, but oral hygiene isn’t one to neglect. You want clean teeth and fresh breath, of course, but you also know how important this self-care routine is to your overall health, too.
So, what are the items to take and tips to follow to keep your teeth healthy when you travel, whether your trip is a few days on the road or a longer vacation stay? Here are six tips to keep teeth healthy, including the dental tools to pack, so you can enjoy your trip instead of facing dental issues away from home.
Dental Health Tips For Traveling: Tools You Will Need
Let’s talk first about the dental health tools to take with you. Here are the basics:
If you use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush, take the charger or extra batteries with you. Charge it or replace the batteries before you leave, just for good measure!
It’s smart to pack an extra toothbrush, too, even if it’s not your usual electric one. Things happen when traveling so it’s better to be prepared. Put it in your carry-on, briefcase, purse, or backpack rather than with the other one.
And whatever kinds you take with you, put each in a case designed for toothbrushes.
Floss picks are great to carry with you all the time, not just when traveling. These picks come in a huge variety and are usually packaged in compact clear cases that fit in a wallet or other small space. You want them handy when food gets stuck in awkward places and you can’t get to your toothbrush.
Given the current restrictions on airline travel items, it’s best to have a three-ounce travel-sized tube of toothpaste so you can take it on the plane with you. Smaller sizes will help with other kinds of travel, too.
Purchasing before you leave home also allows you to have your favorite toothpaste with you, especially if you use a whitening or desensitizing toothpaste.
A swish of mouthwash helps many times when you can’t brush your teeth after a meal. It helps during long flights or road trips, just to freshen your breath, too. Use a three-ounce travel container just like the toothpaste so you can slip it in your carry-on bag.
Now that you have the necessary supplies to travel, let’s talk about some pro tips to maintain your oral health routine while you’re away from home.
How To Keep Teeth Healthy While Traveling
Your travel routine needs to be as similar to your home routine as possible. You won’t have time to deal with unfamiliar dental health tools or find a drugstore to buy new items you decided to try. Stick with what you know.
Here are some specific tips to make this easier during your trip:
#1 – Schedule a Cleaning Before You Go
Check your calendar before you go. If it’s almost time for your next cleaning and routine exam, do it now. The last thing you need is a dental emergency while you’re away. Plus, your teeth will be newly cleaned as you have business meetings or meet new people.
#2 – Use Bottled Water
If you’re not sure about the water where you are traveling, don’t ruin your trip with contaminated water. Always carry a bottle of water with you and have a few in your room. Use this water to brush your teeth as well as to drink. Even just brushing with compromised water can lead to illness.
#3 – Maintain Your Daily Habits
Keep your regular dental hygiene routine as much as possible. Brush and floss twice a day, and keep your mouthwash with you so you can maintain your normal dental health routine. Carry those travel-sized products with you during the day in case you eat something sticky. Find a restroom so you can brush and floss. If that’s not possible, simply rinse with water.
#4 – Keep the Sugar to a Minimum
Don’t binge on sugar while traveling! Sugary drinks, food, and treats don’t care about your vacation or business trip. They can quickly lead to tooth decay which results in a domino effect of damage to your whole body no matter where you are.
#5 – Bring Sugar-Free Gum
Gum helps while flying to relieve pressure in the ears but it also helps keep cavities in control. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can prevent cavities because it generates saliva. The saliva then helps wash away bacteria that cause plaque. Get some sugar-free gum and keep it handy the whole time you’re gone.
#6 – Be Ready For a Dental Emergency
Even though you probably won’t need it, keep your dentist’s contact information readily accessible while you’re gone. Check your dental insurance provisions for travel emergencies. Let your dentist know your plans in case you need to call or email them. Some situations can be handled over the phone, especially if your dentist knows your history. If the emergency is more than that, they can direct you to the proper source of help.
Be Proactive While You Travel to Keep Your Teeth in Good Shape
The best thing you can do to protect your teeth while traveling is to be ready for the unexpected. Be proactive by having the right supplies with you when you leave for your trip. Then, follow the tips offered in this article to stick to your oral health routine as much as possible. And finally, be ready for an emergency that hopefully won’t happen.
We are here to help, too! Don’t hesitate to contact Wilmington Dental Associates today. We can answer any questions you have as you prepare for your trip or get your checkup appointment scheduled for before you leave. Contact us today!