Preparing your family for Summer Holidays always comes with its problems. Packing and repacking, washing and rewashing, checking the list, and checking it again – are all added stress contributors during what should be a period of relaxation. One thing you don’t want to forget is your toothbrush! Taking care of your oral health should be done all year round, regardless of where you are. Maintaining good oral health routines should be a 365 day a year process.
Here are some helpful hints for oral healthcare to keep in mind and to take a little pressure off before going on holiday:
1. Don’t forget your toothbrush
This should go without saying, and it’s probably on your checklist of things to remember. Forgetting a toothbrush means you’ll probably skip 1-2 brushes before you’re able to buy a new one. Collapsible toothbrushes work best for vacation because they come with a case, making sure no unwanted travel germs get on the brush and go into your mouth. Try to buy a portable toothbrush case with ventilation, without holes in the case moisture is trapped inside and can create bacteria. Speaking of buying a new one, when was the last time that happened? Forgetting your toothbrush may have been a blessing in disguise if you bought it more than 4 months ago. Toothbrushes should be thrown away when the bristles look worn or bent or after you have been sick.
2. See your dentist beforehand
If you haven’t had a checkup this year, or you have had some minor to extreme oral health pain, go see your dentist! It is not worth being on vacation and in pain when the problem could be an easy fix for your dentist. Do you want to end up like Tom Hanks in Castaway, knocking your tooth out with a tropical rock because of your fear of dentists? If you plan on participating in sports or any other physical activity that could cause harm to your teeth, jaw, or mouth, consider wearing a mouthguard. You can ask your dentist to fit your teeth for a mouth guard at your checkup. This could save you a lot of pain and even more cash if you need oral surgery in a foreign country.
3. Use the water you are drinking
If you are traveling somewhere where tap water is prohibited to drink, it should go without saying that you do not want to use that water to brush your teeth either. Use your bottled water, or treated water instead.
4. Protect your mouth
If you’re heading somewhere hot this summer make sure you are putting on sunscreen! Not just on your face and arms and legs either. You should try to protect your mouth and lips from harmful UV rays from the sun as well as your body. Prolonged exposure to the sun can increase your risk of sickness and cancer, especially on your lips and mouth. Before your leave for vacation consider buying lip balm with sunscreen protection against UVA/UVB rays.
5. Don’t skip out on flossing
Try to find portable oral hygiene tools before your leave on vacation. Floss is compact and you can take it with you when you travel, or have it on you in your purse or car wherever you go!
6. Have a back-up
If you’re traveling by air or leaving your bags somewhere that you will not have contact with them at all times try to pack some oral hygiene products in both your luggage and your carry-on. If you lose one you’ll still be able to keep up with your daily brushes. You should also remember that if you need to brush without toothpaste is useful! If you’re brushing correctly you are still brushing away plaque that would otherwise build up and decay your teeth.
7. Pack treats
Going on vacation is a time to relax and enjoy yourself. Brushing your teeth shouldn’t be on the top of anyone’s priority list while trying to have a good time with friends and family. However, it is still very important to your oral health and health overall to keep your oral hygiene well maintained. If you’re worried about missing a couple of brush sessions pack some tooth-friendly gum! Sugarless gum with xylitol will stimulate the flow of saliva and help clean your teeth, all while never leaving the party!