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Seven Tips for Dental Health While You Travel

If you’ll be joining the ranks of people who are traveling again this summer, this is a good time to pay attention to your dental health. When you’re on a trip and away from your dentist, you should take steps to prevent dental problems from occurring. These tips can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, so you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of dealing with dental issues.

1.- Pack Travel Dental Items Right Away

Since you’ll need to keep using your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and other dental items at home until the day you leave, purchase separate ones for your trip. Pack those items right away, so you won’t forget to do so later on. Having separate dental items for your trip means you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pack your regular ones while you’re doing last-minute tasks before heading out.

2.- Use a Toothbrush Alternative if Needed

If you do forget to bring your toothbrush with you, there are still ways to keep your teeth clean until you’re able to buy one at your destination. Rinse your mouth with water to get rid of bacteria on your teeth and gums. You can also use your finger to brush. Just wash your hands, put toothpaste on your finger and gently clean your teeth.

3.- Keep Your Toothbrush Clean and Dry

Your toothbrush can increase your risk of dental problems if you allow bacteria or other germs to build up on it. Always rinse your toothbrush after using it during your trip. If possible, let your toothbrush air dry. If you can’t do that, you should put your toothbrush in a clean, resealable plastic bag by itself to lower the risk of germ exposure.

4.- Watch the Water You Use

When you’re in the great outdoors or in an area without clean water, make sure you brush with bottled water. This helps lower your risk of getting ill from contaminated or unclean water sources. If your toothbrush is exposed to potentially unsafe water, you should replace it with a new one if possible or rinse it thoroughly with bottled water.

5.- Bring Sugarless Gum and Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Sugarless gum provides a great way for you to reduce your risk of tooth decay while you’re on a trip. You might not be able to brush your teeth right away after eating when you’re traveling, but you can prevent tooth decay by chewing sugarless gum instead. This gum causes you to produce more saliva, which helps move bacteria away from your teeth. Bring packs of sugarless gum with you, along with snacks that promote healthy teeth, such as string cheese or cheese cubes, plain almonds or other nuts, fresh fruit and carrot sticks or other raw vegetables.

6.- Schedule a Cleaning Before You Go

If it’s time for your next dental cleaning and exam, make sure you schedule that before going on your trip. Having your teeth checked for potential problems means you can have these taken care of before you go. This helps lower your risk of having a dental emergency when you’re traveling. You’ll also be able to enjoy your trip more with freshly cleaned teeth. If you know that you need dental work done, you should also have this taken care of prior to traveling. Otherwise, you could end up having to find an emergency dentist while you’re on vacation. Keep in mind that you should have dental cleanings done twice a year.

7.- Prepare for Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies might happen when you travel, even if you’re careful about your dental health. Being prepared for these emergencies ahead of time can provide you with peace of mind when you’re on your trip. Bring your dentist’s contact information with you, so you can call about any problems you’re having, such as minor tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, a chipped tooth, gum inflammation or a cracked tooth. Your dentist can provide you with guidance on what to do next and might even be able to recommend a dentist in your location. If you’re overseas, you can contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near your location for assistance.

by Cedar Walk Family

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