A new year has started, and that means it’s time to start thinking about our next travels! But today, instead of the hottest destination this year, we are going to talk about a less exciting but still very important matter, and that is keeping your oral hygiene in check while on the road. When we’re away, and our daily routine becomes just a distant memory, it can be difficult keeping ourselves to all the positive dental hygiene habits that we’ve worked so hard to develop. Not to mention hectic travel days with long waiting times at airports or spending nights on trains or buses where you don’t exactly have access to all the amenities you have at home. For those traveling frequently, this can become a real issue.
It’s never too early to have a plan and to start preparing, both in terms of travel arrangements and informing yourself. So, here are a few oral hygiene travel tips that will save your teeth while you’re having the time of your life on your next holiday.
Pack all the necessities
It should come as no surprise that to preserve your pearly whites during your travels. You should have all the necessities at hand. Even if you have luggage restrictions, try not to skip the products you use daily. Get small, travel-size versions of your go-to products: a small bottle of mouthwash, compact flossers, disposable plaque removers, travel-size toothpaste, and of course, your travel toothbrush should all be in your toiletry bag. If you forget any of these, make it a point to visit a store as soon as you land at your destination. Don’t rely on your hotel offering complimentary toothbrushes since its bristles might not be the right hardness for your gums.
Look for handy travel items
We already mentioned travel-size oral care items in the previous paragraph. However, besides a foldable toothbrush and extra small tubes of toothpaste, there are also other useful items designed specifically for when you are in a pinch. For instance, you can also make use of handy disposable toothbrushes when on the go. These small prepasted toothbrushes allow you to brush your teeth without needing anything else such as toothpaste or even water, so you can easily brush your teeth without a sink or as much as having to dig out your toothpaste from your bag. Moreover, if you are flying and you don’t have much space in your liquid bag, you can also turn to toothpaste tablets instead of regular toothpaste, which are very travel-friendly.
Clean your toiletry bag
Before you shove everything in your trusty toiletry bag that you carry on all of your tips, ask yourself just how clean that toiletry bag is. Chances are, over time, it became a breeding ground for bacteria, so instead of contaminating your oral hygiene products right away, make it a point to clean and disinfect your toiletry bag. It is also a good idea to use a toiletry bag that lets air pass through and thus is less prone to bacteria growth.
Schedule a visit to your dentist way before your trip
Before you pack your bags and head out into the great unknown, it is a great idea to take care of any possible problems that might cause you a headache (or rather, toothache) down the road. Prevention is the key after all, and you don’t want your holiday ruined by something like this. So, schedule a checkup with your dentist way before your trip even if you don’t particularly have a reason to. Making sure everything is all right is reason enough, and if there is something that requires prompt action, you will still have plenty of time to get it sorted out. You might need to seek out certain dental laboratory services, and you don’t want to leave it for the last minute and get all stressed out. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind, and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip worry-free.
Never store your toothbrush wet
Some of the dental hygiene “rules” you need to abide by on your trip really take no effort, you just need to be aware of them. One such rule is never storing your toothbrush while it’s still wet. A lot of people put their protective case on their toothbrushes as soon as they are done using them and throw the item back in their toiletry bag. However, storing your toothbrush in such a small, contained space while it’s still wet creates a truly ideal environment for bacteria to grow. We already mentioned that it’s recommended that your toiletry bag is well-ventilated for the same reason. So, leave your toothbrush out to dry properly or at least pat it dry with a clean towel if you don’t have a choice.
Traveling can be truly hectic, and when hurrying to pack up all your stuff and catch those super early flights, you might leave your toothbrush behind in your hotel room. Losing things while traveling is pretty common and no reason to panic, but if you want to be one step ahead and not be inconvenienced, even if you lose your toothbrush, you can go prepared and pack an extra. This is especially a good idea if you’re traveling with checked baggage. Putting your toiletry bag in your suitcase can be a problem in case your suitcase takes a bit longer to arrive at your destination, or, God forbid, gets lost, both of which scenarios are pretty common, unfortunately. So, have a toothbrush in your carry-on as well as your checked bag so that you’re prepared.
Sometimes, we can find ourselves in unexpected situations where we simply have to make do with what we have. Even if you find yourself with no toothpaste, you can still brush your teeth with just water – it might not be the most refreshing thing in the world, but it’s still better than not brushing at all. Moreover, remember that baking soda is a great alternative to toothpaste, and if you don’t have a toothbrush, you can just rub it on your teeth using your finger.
Another thing that will come in handy plenty of times when you’re traveling is chewing gum. Even if you’re not particularly a gum person, some sugar-free gum will not only make a big difference in terms of the freshness of your breath, but it’s actually good for your oral hygiene. If you chew after eating, it increases your saliva production, which will help wash away some of the food residue that is left behind. It also helps decrease the amount of acid in your mouth, thereby protecting your tooth enamel from tooth erosion. So, when on the go, chewing gum after eating or drinking is a great way to keep your oral care in check.
Don’t ditch your routine
When we are on our holiday, our daily routine is broken, and it’s easy to forget about oral hygiene. But make it a point to keep up your oral care habits and don’t go to bed without having brushed your teeth. Moreover, pay attention to what you eat. Don’t overconsume sugary things as they can wreak havoc on your teeth – having some local desserts is fine, just don’t forget to brush afterward or at least chew some sugar-free gum!
Traveling is exciting, but no matter how excited we are for our holiday, we should not forget about our teeth. Consistency, as well as prevention, are key when it comes to taking care of our pearly whites, so schedule a visit to your dentist before your trip and keep the aforementioned tips in mind to make sure your teeth are well taken care of even when you are on the other side of the planet.