Proper Dental Care when Traveling

Taking care of your teeth while on the road.

Whether it is vacation travel or business travel, regular and thorough dental care sometimes loses its priority when we are away from home. Let’s face it, traveling disrupts our routines, and consistent routines are really the foundation to good dental care.

The real trick to maintaining good dental care when traveling is to make sure to stick as close to your at-home habits as possible. That means that if you brush religiously after breakfast and before bed, continue this when you are on the road. If possible, take your normal toothpaste, toothbrush etc. and place them out as you do at home so that you see them as you are getting ready to go out, or preparing for bed.

Air Travel. Traveling can get complicated when air-travel is involved. Between trying to pack light, and worrying about what you can/cannot take in your carryon, it can be easy to deviate from your routine. We recommend that you double-up – put an extra toothbrush in your luggage AND one in your carryon, that way not only will you always have one handy, in case your bag is out of reach or gets lost. For long flights, don’t forget your xylitol gum to keep the plaque build-up at bay (be sure there are no other sweeteners as it reduces the effectiveness of xylitol).

Camping. Camping can be a relaxing experience—just getting away from it all. But roughing-it does not always lend itself to easy dental care. We recommend bringing bottled water with you to make the rinsing part of brushing a no-brainer. Put your toothpaste and toothbrush in a small toiletries bag in the front pocket of your backpack so it is easy to recover and stay as close to your routine as possible—brushing after breakfast and before bed—so that you stay on track.

Road Trip. Just like camping, taking a road trip can be seriously disruptive to dental care routines. Carry your toothbrush and travel toothpaste in a small bag and take it with you to brush whenever possible – rest stop bathrooms, hotels, or at your destination. But remember, your toothbrush needs air to dry, so when possible, dry the brush off between brushings! Lastly, keep the sweet drinks (sodas, juices) to a minimum when on the road. The long hours plus the sugary drinks are a recipe for plaque, which leads to tooth decay. Unsweetened tea, coffee and water are better alternatives.

Your dental care does not have to suffer when you are getting away for the weekend, or going on vacation. With a little bit of planning and discipline, your smile will be healthy and bright, no matter where you are.

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