Maintaining good oral health while traveling sounds simple enough, but it’s all too common for travelers to forget necessities, like a toothbrush or mouthwash. Even if you aren’t the forgetful type, there’s still a chance you’ll neglect your teeth in the midst of your exciting adventures.
Worse yet, you may misplace items that are difficult to replace, like your retainer, invisible braces, or specially formulated toothpaste. To keep your mouth fresh in an exciting new country or state, you’ll need to do the following dental tasks before, during, and after your trip.
1. Schedule a Dentist Appointment Before You Leave
Emergency dental treatment is expensive, especially if you don’t buy travel insurance. To prevent an unexpected root canal on your vacation, get a check-up before your trip. Make sure to leave some room for a follow-up appointment in case your dentist finds a problem.
Even if you went to the dentist in the last three months, it’s still worth the peace of mind to make the appointment and receive the most up-to-date information on your oral health.
2. Pack Mint Chewing Gum, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, and Floss
There are several hygiene products that work better for travelers that prefer to stay in hostels or tents. While mouthwash and floss can’t supplement the clean feeling you get from a toothbrush, it can work for now. Pack mint chewing gum to hold yourself over after waking up or eating.
Don’t forget the most important oral hygiene product for your trip: cavity-preventing toothpaste.
3. Buy a New Disposable or Electric Toothbrush
If you’re still finding it hard to keep your toothbrush dry, consider packing disposable, biodegradable toothbrushes to ensure your hygiene products stay clean. Purchase toothbrushes that are made out of wood, so you won’t feel guilty about throwing them away.
Still, you may prefer using an electric toothbrush, but you’re worried about losing it during travel. Buy a self-cleaning model that you use specifically for vacations and keep it on your person.
4. Invest in High-Quality Toothbrush Transportation
While it may sound silly, it’s essential for travelers to invest in quality toothbrush transportation. Unless you air-dry your toothbrush in a hotel, you may find it challenging to keep it dry. If that’s the case, store your toothbrush in a pencil case and poke holes in it to prevent bacteria growth.
5. Research Whether You Can Trust the Water
Never wash out your mouth with contaminated water, or you could make yourself incredibly ill. Before touching down, research whether or not the water in your destination is safe. There are several US states and cities that don’t have clean drinking water either, so stay diligent.
If you find out the local drinking water isn’t fit for consumption, purchase mineral water instead. If you don’t have access to bottled water, use mouthwash, disinfect the water, or use filters.
6. Stay Away From Sugary Treats (If Possible)
It’s normal to want to spoil yourself during your holiday, but don’t go overboard with the sweets. To ensure you keep your teeth intact, limit yourself to two sweet treats a day and chew on sugar-free gum afterward to keep bacteria away until you can brush your teeth properly.
If you want to eat more sweets than you can handle, consider shipping them back home.
7. Keep Your Oral Hygiene Products in Your Carry-On
When you keep your oral hygiene products in your carry-on, you solve two problems: stale salvia and the risk of misplacement. Nothing worse than being next to someone who could use a breath mint, so pack a toothbrush and mini toothpaste in your carry-on for everyone’s comfort.
Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the flight because that will also cut down on bad breath. Consider packing breath strips, too, as they’re small enough to be allowed on flights.