Maintaining proper dental care while traveling can be difficult. If you're spending hours in the car and eating while you travel, you miss important flossing and brushing opportunities. Here are some important dental tips to keep in mind when you are taking a trip for work or pleasure.
Planning a dream trip is something many people spend weeks, months or even years doing prior to their departure. However, in all of their excitement, they often forget about preparing for any “what if” dental emergencies that could occur while on the road. This is especially important if the trip will be overseas where you could face language barriers in addition to the concerns of finding qualified dental professionals you feel comfortable with treating an emergency.
The first and most important step you can take prior to departure is a proactive one: schedule an appointment with us for a thorough exam. (You should also do the same and schedule an appointment with your physician concerning your general health.) During this visit, be sure to let us know about your travel plans, where you will be going and what you will be doing so that we can ensure you are best prepared for your trip. For example, if you will be trying some new or high-impact activities, you may need a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Also, have any dental problems taken care of prior to traveling because pressure changes, especially during air travel, can cause pain in an untreated tooth. Here are some Important dental tips to keep in mind when you are taking a trip for work or pleasure.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Soft or medium bristles are best because they do less damage to the tooth’s enamel than hard bristles. Children’s brushes are smaller to fit in kid-sized mouths. For adults, you can pick between manual and electric based on your personal preferences. If you decide on electric, rotating oscillating heads work best. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least every 2-3 months.
Choose the Right Toothpaste
Toothpastes come in pastes, powders or gels. As for ingredients, most commercial toothpastes include fluoride to help fight cavities. Some specifically target plaque and tartar buildup, while others protect sensitive teeth. To make sure your teeth stay clean and bright, there are many whitening toothpastes on the market. Natural ingredients are also an option for health-conscious consumers.
Know What You Are Eating
When visiting other locations you should always keep in mind that what you eat can take a toll on your teeth and stomach. Sometimes eating different cuisine that you are not used to can cause your stomach to become upset and force you to throw up. This can bring all of the stomach acid up and cause it to latch on to the enamel on your teeth. Foods that are high in sugars will need to be followed by a mouthwash rinse. If not, it could result in bad breath or damage to your teeth.
Snacking is fun to do. Snacks are great to have on hand when you can’t eat a whole, healthy meal. They can be great fillers, but can also provide your mouth with unneeded bacteria. When you are snacking a lot and not brushing frequently during those snacks it can cause the food particles to attach to the enamel on your teeth. This can create a buildup of plaque, which increases the risk of staining and cavities. You are also at a high risk of cavities and staining when eating things such as toffee and hard seeds. The seeds and other hard foods can cause pitting in the teeth.
Brushing Regularly While Traveling
Even though it’s a regular routine to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two to two and a half minutes, while traveling, it’s even more important to stick to this routine and even add in a few extra brushes. Keep in mind that when brushing your teeth, the toothpaste is only an aid. The real hero is the bristles on your toothbrush. Therefore, when packing your toothbrush be sure to pack it in a container that does not squish the bristles.