Now more people are traveling... Whether you’re planning a simple overnight getaway, packing up the family for a cross-country road trip, or have your sights set on an international destination, it’s important to keep giving your smile the care it needs to stay healthy. Taking the right steps now can help you avoid dental emergencies while you’re away too. Here’s a quick look at a few ways you can keep your smile healthy while you’re on the go.
1. Schedule a Checkup Before You Travel
A toothache can zap the fun out of any vacation in no time flat. However, many issues that cause them, such as cracked teeth and cavities, can be detected and treated before you go. If you’re not already on a recurring schedule with your dentist and sticking to it, book an appointment a month or so before your trip. This will give you time to address any issues that are discovered during your visit. It’s a good idea to schedule a checkup if you’re planning international travel or are heading to a remote area even if you stay on schedule too.
2. Store Your Dentist’s Info Before You Go and Look into Teledentistry Options
Even urgent issues can often be handled over the phone or via video chat these days. Find out if your dentist offers teledentistry services or can help you remotely. Although he obviously won’t be able to fix a broken tooth via webcam, he may be able to prescribe antibiotics or pain medicine and provide tips that will help see you through until you’re back home again. If you don’t already have your dentist’s information saved on your phone, add it now.
3. Keep Travel-Friendly Toothpaste in Your Carry-On
It’s often advised to keep medications with you in your carry-on bag just in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed. Your oral care gear should fall into this category too. The TSA follows a 3-1-1 liquids rule. You can bring containers sized up to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) in a one-quart resealable bag. You can pick up an ORL toothpaste and mouthwash travel set for this purpose. Though small enough for TSA, it’s a full 20-day supply—plenty to last most trips.
In a pinch and forget your toothbrush? You can usually pick one up from your hotel’s courtesy desk, but you can put some toothpaste on a washcloth and use that until you can make it to a store too.
4. Keep Your Oral Care Gear Separate
You’ll hear plenty of conflicting info on the best way to pack your toothbrush. On one hand, hard, breathable toothbrush containers designed for travel will give your brush a chance to dry and limit bacterial growth. However, the same holes that allow for drying can also allow contaminants onto your brush. For this reason, some professionals recommend placing your toothbrush in a resealable plastic bag for travel instead. This is probably your best bet, provided you remove it from the bag and let it dry out as soon as you reach your destination. Of course, you can also pack a new toothbrush or toothbrush head and avoid the concern altogether.
5. Brush During Breaks
It’s incredibly easy to go off your regular brushing schedule when you’re traveling, especially if you’re driving a lot. Plus, you’re likely dining in your car and snacking constantly too. That creates all kinds of issues by disrupting your oral ecosystem, boosting acidity, and feeding bacteria. This sets the stage for cavities and can cause bad breath as well. Instead, turn your rest stops and refueling breaks into brushing breaks.
This tip works well for adults and is especially helpful for globetrotter kids. If you aren’t already using fluoride-free toothpaste, you may want to pack some specifically for this purpose. That way, they can brush in the car or outdoors and there’s no worry they’ll ingest fluoride while they’re getting accustomed to brushing on the go.
6. Brush with Bottled Water
If you have any concerns about water quality, brush with bottled water instead of tap water. This is true whether you’re visiting Mexico or eyeballing the sink at a rest stop. Keep a couple of extra bottles on hand just for this purpose.
7. Be Mindful of Sweets and Alcohol
Research presented by the American Dental Association (ADA) indicates chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after finishing a meal can help reduce cavities and improve breath, particularly if it has a sweetener like xylitol. That’s because xylitol kills cavity-causing bacteria and can help restore balance, plus can increase salivary flow to help remove debris from your mouth. Of course, gum isn’t for everyone and it can be a pain to dispose of. If you prefer a breath spray, use one that doesn’t contain alcohol, as it can dry your mouth out and can create further imbalance. ORL’s natural breath spray, for example, is made with organic xylitol, and comes in convenient packaging that’s easy to tuck away in a purse or carry-on.
8. Press the Reset Button at Home
If you fall out of routine while traveling, try to pick up where you left off as soon as you return home. If you find yourself forgetting, you may need to press the reset button and use some tested tricks to get yourself brushing and flossing regularly again until it becomes a habit.
Keep Your Smile Healthy Naturally Wherever You Roam
ORL’s oral care line is packed with wholesome ingredients like organic xylitol, nourishing plant-based essential oils, and fortifying vitamins and minerals, plus is absent of common ingredients that don’t fit into a mindful lifestyle. At home or on the go, ORL is the best way to keep your smile healthy naturally. Explore the full line in our online shop.