traveling with healthy teethJust because Summer is long gone, that doesn’t mean the travel bug hasn’t bit you. Fall is prime time for Holiday vacations and off-peak visits to sunny destinations.

Whether you and your family travel often, or settle on a few big adventures, you know that besides your wallet and possibly your sleep, traveling can taken a toll on your oral health. After all, you’re on vacation. It’s a time to splurge, indulge, relax and have fun.

Rushing around in the airport, trying to navigate your way through an unfamiliar city, hopping on and off cruise ships and hurrying around on tour after tour, vacationing isn’t conducive to oral care hygiene. For instance, it’s not exactly convenient to brush your teeth in a crowded airplane bathroom or whip out some dental floss and begin cleaning your teeth while sitting aboard a packed tour bus. The combination of over-indulging in yummy, ‘not so great for you’ food and the inability to regularly keep your mouth clean can jeopardize the health of your teeth.

Is it possible for one to adequately take care of their teeth and gums while traveling on summer vacation? If so, how?

Regardless of where you travel, you’ll likely have a bathroom close by, so basic oral can be doable. Here are some dental tips for your summer travels:

Stick to your regular oral hygiene schedule. Most people brush and floss their teeth right after they get up in the morning and just before they go to be in the evening. If you do this, don’t stop just because you’re in a new place.

Drink a ton of water. Drinking water throughout the day will give you the energy needed to spend the day on your feet, going from one attraction to the next. Staying hydrated also helps you think and lowers the risk of debilitating headaches and heat exhaustion that can put your vacation day to an abrupt halt. Drinking plenty of water also rinses out your mouth, keeping it clean by dislodging stuck food particles and sugary film from off the surface of teeth.

Chew Gum. Gum packages are compact and easy to carry. Gum doesn’t go bad and it is a great way to pass the time on long plane, bus, train or car rides. Gum is also great for when you’re thirsty and water is temporarily unavailable. Gum initiates saliva production, moistening the mouth and rising out cavity causing bacteria. The chewing involved in enjoying gum can loosen stuck food particles from on and between teeth. Chewing gum also improves brain functioning and increases alertness so you’ll be more present and take in each moment.

Pack Dental Floss Picks. Besides being annoying and embarrassing, food particles stuck between your teeth can also decay and breakdown and lead to the formation of plaque and cavities. Dental picks are small and compact and they are disposable. Throughout your daily travels out and about, you can use each bathroom stop opportunity as a chance to clean in between your teeth.

Look for Crunchy, Nutritious Fruits and Vegetables. Yes, you’re on vacation and you may have set your diet aside, but the food you eat can have just as great an effect on the health of your teeth and gums as regular, proper oral hygiene. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on instead of breads, sweets and pastries. These nutritious meals can be found anywhere and if your travels take you to international destinations, each locale will have its own, unique mix of fruits and vegetables to enjoy. Try looking for fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables as the crunchiness can strengthen teeth, activate saliva production and dislodge stuck food particles.  

Traveling is a great time for memories and family bonding, but it can easily mean compromising the health of your teeth and gums. Proper oral care, however, can be done while summer traveling. Drinking water, chewing gum, eating fruits and vegetables, and using dental picks can help you enjoy your vacation while helping to protect your teeth.

If your travels or lifestyle over the years have already taken a toll on your smile and you’re due for some cosmetic updates like Zoom! teeth whitening in Scranton or possibly even veneers, contact us at Hazzouri Dental to schedule an appointment.