With the onset of the summer season, many families are packing up and heading out on vacation. Whether it is the beach, the mountains, a cruise, or a magical trip to Disneyland—this is a great time for family travel. Whether going to grandmas for a week or to the Caribbean, it’s important to consider what you pack to help maintain your oral health regimen—after all, you can’t take a week off from oral hygiene if you want to maintain that healthy smile.
Here are some healthy suggestions for maintaining good oral care on vacation from Dr. Watts, your Overland Park Dentist:
Don’t forget your toothbrush. Let’s face it, you can always go out and buy a toothbrush once your get there. But, how long is it going to take you to arrive at your destination? And if you are going to be eating and drinking, it is important to pack your tooth brush in an accessible bag so that you can maintain your normal brushing routine. The same goes for flossing. Consider packing disposable floss pics and a travel-sized tooth paste tube. The easier it is to access, the better chance you’re going to maintain your oral health routine on the road.
Keep your toothbrush clean. Many of us like to store our toothbrushes in a travel-size bag. This often means our brush is stored wet, in a dark place where bacteria is encouraged to grow. Consider packing your toothbrush in a bag that is clear with holes for good air circulation. Make sure you rinse your brush in hot water after each use and try to dry your brush by shaking off as much excess water as possible.
Wash your hands before you brush. While traveling in planes, trains, or automobiles our hands come in contact with everything under the sun. Ensure that you do not transfer a ton of germs to your mouth and toothbrush by washing your hands before you brush.
Eat healthy. Pack water, fruit, raw veggies, whole grain crackers and string cheese. Those are just a few options that are in alignment with almost every family member’s eating habits. Avoid soda and juices that will just leave a sugar film on your teeth.
Don’t forget that mouth guard. If you’ve been prescribed a mouthguard against grinding your teeth at night while sleeping, you’ll want to pack it for your trip. Many of us are guilty of this unconscious habit and our jaw muscles would appreciate it if we did not leave the mouthguard at home. If you are planning to mountain bike or ski on vacation, consider protecting your teeth with a sports mouthguard. Studies have suggested that certain recreational activities can put our teeth at risk for injury. Consider proper mouth protection when you are away. It may save you a trip to the dentist in a strange city!
If the water is not safe to drink, don’t brush with it. This is true as bacteria and parasites from the water can do a number on one’s intestinal tract. Instead, use bottled water to brush with. You’ll be glad you did! And if you cannot brush after every meal, take along some sugarless gum that is sweetened only with Xylitol. Studies suggest that Xylitol helps the mouth produce more saliva which is a good thing for our teeth and gums.
Keep a dental contact number on hand. Call Dr. Watts, your Overland Park Dentist at (913) 338-3384. He may not be in your vacation vicinity, but he can certainly guide you in obtaining the best dental care wherever you are this summer.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental, your friendly Overland Park Dentist. We’re committed to healthy smiles for the whole family. Please call (913) 338-3384 or visit our Overland Park, Kansas office. You may also send an email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.