Is the countdown on for your next weekend getaway or well-deserved holiday? Before you finish packing your bags and jet off we wanted to share a few travel tips for maintaining your oral hygiene whilst you are away.
Oral Health Routine
Just like any other day it is important to maintain a good oral health routine. While on your trip you should ensure you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily, either with dental floss or an interdental cleaner
- Wash your hands or use antibacterial gel before and after brushing/flossing (you never know what germs might be lingering around!)
Tips For Your Trip
Whether you’re a last minute packer or weeks in advance planner, it’s important to ensure you pack these essential items to help maintain your oral health while on your travels.
- Back up toothbrush: Ever been that unfortunate person whose luggage gets lost? Be prepared and keep a second toothbrush in your carry-on luggage. This also comes in handy for those long-haul flights when you need to freshen up.
- Toothbrush holder: Avoid bacteria by keeping your toothbrush in a well-ventilated toothbrush holder. This allows it to dry properly after use and reduces bacteria build up (bacteria thrive in moist unventilated areas – no thanks!)
- Travel size toothpaste: Remember if you’re travelling overseas that items, such as toothpaste, must be in containers of 100mL or 100g or less for carry-on luggage (interesting fact: a half full 200g toothpaste is still deemed as 200g, who knew?). Also, if you have a toothpaste that you love and not sure if you’ll find it at your next destination, make sure to pack a second tube just in case.
- Floss/Interdental cleaners: Nice and compact, these essential oral hygiene items are great to keep in your travel bag. They’re also perfect for removing those pesky remnants of food, ensuring your smile is ready for those holiday snaps – no embarrassing food caught in your teeth moments here.
- Multipurpose mouthwash: While many use mouthwashes to help freshen their breath and reduce the bacteria in their mouths, it can also be used to reduce build up on your toothbrush. Simply put a small amount of mouthwash in a cup with hot water, place your toothbrush and toothbrush holder in the cup for about 30 seconds, swish them around, then remove them and allow them to dry thoroughly. Another handy tip, if you accidentally leave your toothpaste behind you can use mouthwash on your toothbrush to help clean your teeth.
- Sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum helps to stimulate the saliva flow in your mouth which assists in removing food particles while also making your mouth and breath fresher.
- Bottled water: Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of bottled water. A hydrated mouth decreases the number of bacteria which causes tooth decay. Swishing with water after meals assists with disposing of food particles and reduces the acid and sugar levels after eating and drinking juices, soft drinks or alcohol.
Tips For Preventing Bad Breath
Nobody wants to be THAT person. We’ve provided some tips below on how to prevent bad breath on your trip, which your travel companions will be grateful for.
- Maintain regular meal times: Eating regularly assists with the stimulation of saliva flow; if you miss a meal eat an apple, carrot or some celery. These foods act as a tooth ‘brushing’ snack, leaving your teeth feeling cleaner.
- Healthy, balanced diet: While it is easy to give into those naughty travel treats when on holidays, try to limit your sugar intake and where possible maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Sugar-free gum and mouthwash: In the event you need a little extra help to get your breath feeling fresh chew on sugar-free gum or if advised by your dentist use mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
Before taking flight, we recommend checking with your travel insurance to see if it covers you for emergency dental treatment. Although no-one plans to need dental work while they are away, in the unfortunate circumstances you find yourself with a dental injury it gives your peace of mind to know you are covered for any unexpected dental costs that may arise.
If you’re travelling overseas or heading away for a long period of time we encourage you to make an appointment with your local dental healthcare professional, even if you’re not due for a checkup. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than a cure.