Traveling is not an excuse to be lax about your dental hygiene. We usually indulge in more treats on vacation because calories don’t count when you’re out of town, right?
But this means that oral care on vacation is vital. More sugar bugs mean a higher chance of cavities. It may be easy to forget to brush and floss amid fun-filled schedules, exciting adventures, and resort-style relaxation. Still, it’s essential to prioritize your dental health whether you’re at home, on vacation, or traveling the world. Here’s a dental hygiene vacation checklist.
Let Your Toothbrush Breath
When packing your toothbrush, opt for a holder that is clean and ventilated to keep your toothbrush dry and free from growing bacteria. Cases that keep your toothbrush fully sealed are not the greatest because if your toothbrush is wet, bacteria will surely grow and thrive on it. Once you reach your destination, remove your toothbrush from the cover and leave it on the counter to air out and dry. Leave it out on the counter for the duration of your vacation if possible.
Bring a DIY Dental Kit
A dental kit is a handy way to prepare for any vacation. If you plan to pack light, you can make it miniature-sized and include travel-size items that can easily go inside a carry-on bag. Once your vacation is over, restock any items so that it’s ready to grab and go when your next overnight work trip or family vacation comes up. If you have kids, make a kit for each of them, too, or at least make sure everyone has their own toothbrush. Items to go inside your dental kit include:
- Floss or floss picks
- Sugar-free gum
Be Aware of Your Sugar Intake
We’d never tell you to deprive yourself of one of the biggest highlights of vacation: letting loose and indulging in all the sweets. However, it is wise to refrain from too much sugar if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth for a while. And balance is also essential for your teeth. Balance the high-sugar foods with healthy options.
Try to Continue Your Regular Dental Routine
Sometimes vacation rattles our routine inside and out. The kids’ naps are out of whack; you might have jet lag, participate in activities that throw your schedule off, and so on. But in the midst of it all, try to stick to your usual dental routine for the sake of your teeth. This shouldn’t be hard. Put reminders on your phone day and night if you have to remember to brush and floss. Don’t drop good dental habits while you’re vacationing, and don’t form bad ones.
Keep Some Sugar-Free Gum on Hand
If all else fails and you ignore our advice, at least pop some sugar-free gum into your mouth after meals. The gum will help neutralize the acidity in your mouth, minimizing the growth of that less-than-lovely bacteria that leads to cavities. The gum will also increase the saliva in your mouth, which, believe it or not, will help to wash away food particles. Plus, if you’ve been lax on your dental hygiene, chances are your breath could desperately use a stick of gum.
Schedule a Pre-Vacay Dentist Appointment
If you’re just about due for a routine dental visit or need some dental work done, why not get it over with before you embark on your vacation? You may as well get it out of the way so you leave with healthy teeth and don’t even have to think about it anymore. Plus, this way, you can take care of any dental issues so they don’t wreak havoc on your vacation.
You may especially want to consider a dental appointment if traveling to a remote area or anywhere that would be hard to access care in a dental emergency. In other words, take care of your tooth fillings here in Davis County before skipping town.
Let’s say you suspect a cavity but don’t make time to get it taken care of before your trip. The next thing you know, you’re waking up in your hotel room with an excruciating toothache. (Yes, this is based on a true story!) You could have had that cavity filled at the dentist to prevent it from ruining your trip. Better to be on the safe side and schedule a dental visit with your Utah family dentist rather than risk a dental emergency far from home.
Even though you’re going on vacation, don’t take a vacation from your dental hygiene, or you might be returning with an unwanted souvenir: an extra plaque that could turn into a cavity later or a developing cavity that rears its ugly head while you’re globetrotting. If you happen to forget your dental kit, go to the store upon arrival and buy the dental essentials: a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.