Traveling, whether for work or for pleasure, makes it difficult to keep up with good daily hygiene habits. One’s oral-health is an indicator of overall vitality. It is especially important to not let one’s teeth routine go by the wayside. With a little bit of organization and preparation, it is possible to keep your pearly whites happy while on the go. Below are 5 tips to help you take care of your teeth while on your next trip.
1. Pack Your Own Toothbrush
It is one of the most frequently forgotten items on any trip. It is important to make an extra effort, such as a sticky note on your suitcase or a calendar invite on your smart phone, to remember a toothbrush while packing. Mini travel toothbrushes do not achieve the same cleanliness as your own. Therefore, opt to bring your own toothbrush instead. Also, depending upon the sensitivity of an individual’s teeth, a softer brush might be needed than a travel size usually offers. Even though some hotels will provide toothbrushes to its guests free charge, these are often overly firm and not good for the gums. You should avoid these if you can.
2. Invest in a Toothbrush Holder Case
Traveling, especially via public transportation methods like buses, trains, or planes, already increases the likelihood of getting sick from coming into contact with other people in a confined space. To minimize bacteria intake, be sure to protect your toothbrush by investing in a toothbrush holder case to help keep germs off of the bristles. There are plenty of inexpensive and functional options so there is no need to go crazy. Once you have arrived at your destination, make sure to unpack the toothbrush from the case to give it some air. Moisture can become trapped inside, which has the potential for bacteria growth and is dangerous for your mouth. Leave the toothbrush out in the open until it is time to head home.
3. Do Not Forget the Floss
One of the most common suggestions of dentists to their patients is to floss more. We are all guilty of forgetting to floss time and again. It should come as no surprise that you are likely to forget to pack the floss when getting organized for your trip. Whether it is for one night only or for several days, it is imperative that you bring floss with you on your travels to maintain good oral health. Floss is a small enough item as it is. Do not make excuses, as there are smaller, travel specific sizes available if space be an issue.
4. Bring or Buy Gum
Longer periods of time will likely pass between each brushing. Gum can help counteract some of the negative effects that may occur in the meantime. Gums collects food items stuck between teeth by increasing saliva in the mouth. It eliminates harmful bacteria. It will also make your breath fresher, thereby increasing your comfort, and making you a better seatmate and/or fellow passenger. Additionally, it will pop your ears during pressure changes on a plane and may help to stave off hunger cravings.
5. Pack Healthy Snacks
While traveling, normal schedules and good habits are occasionally abandoned in favor of a “treat yourself” mentality. People are more likely to indulge in alcohol and sweets. They usually spend more time in between brushing. Because of this, it is important to pack healthy snacks such as cheese, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. These foods will decrease cravings that might ultimately increase tooth decay. Apples are an especially beneficial and easy item to pack since they increase saliva. This fruit naturally washes the mouth. As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
From forgetting to pack the necessary supplies to indulging in habits that are not a part of your day-to-day life, traveling can put your oral health at risk if you are not adequately prepared. In order to maintain healthy teeth while on the go, be sure to pack your toothbrush and floss, invest in a toothbrush holder case, and pack gum and healthy snacks. That way you can focus on enjoying every minute of your trip and not worry about having to book a dentist’s appointment upon your return home.