It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for work or vacation; being on the go all of the time (or for extended periods) can make it easy to forget about your dental health. Especially when you have multiple outfits to pack, weather changes to consider, and don’t forget the shoes. But traveling and the stress that comes with it can also take a toll on your mouth. Here are some simple but very important tips for caring for your teeth while you or your family is traveling.
Keep Your Mouth (and Body) Hydrated Correctly
Did you know that it’s common to get dehydrated when you’re flying across the country? And if you’re drinking coffee to stay awake, the caffeine can add to the dehydration and dry mouth that comes along with it. Dry mouth (xerostomia) contributes to bad breath, plaque buildup, and, most importantly, tooth decay.
Make a point to drink water throughout the day, especially after meals or snacks. The water helps keep your mouth hydrated, your mouth moist, and lowers the overall acid levels that are responsible for forming cavities.
You can take things even further by drinking water straight from the tap since it’s cheap and fluoridated (some bottled waters do not contain fluoride and may even be slightly acidic.) It’s worthwhile to invest in a water bottle that you like and keep refilling it throughout the day as needed.
Put Your Oral Care Kit in Your Carry-on Baggage
Being stuck without your toothbrush for a day or two is the last thing you want. After your checkup, bring home your dental samples and use them to pack a small to-go oral kit. A travel-sized toothpaste and floss will fit into any bag or briefcase. You might even prefer to leave it in your luggage constantly if you’re traveling out of town every other weekend.
Don’t Forget to Clean Between Your Teeth
The easier you make it to floss, the more likely you’ll be to keep up with it every day. Be sure to pack some disposable flossers or proxy brushes if you have wider spaces or braces to clean around. Keep your disposable flossers on the hotel bathroom counter or in your car so that they’re right in front of you, reminding you to clean between your teeth.
Stressed from Traveling? Take a Mouthguard
Trying to keep up with a schedule, make your connecting flight in time, or planning bathroom breaks with kids on a long road trip can make even the most leisurely vacations a little stressful now and then. And since most of us tend to take some of that tension out on our mouths, it’s a great idea to bring a mouthguard or bite splint.
If you’re clenching your teeth while you drive or grinding them in your sleep because of daytime stress, you’ll start to notice sore jaws and headaches. When it happens often enough, your teeth will actually start to wear each other down.
Our Mesa dentist can fit you with a comfortable, protective night guard or bite splint to take the tension off of your smile.
Current Dental Issues? Plan Ahead
Are you planning a major trip in the near future? Maybe you’re going out of the country for a couple of weeks/ Our Mesa dentist can help you if you are behind in your dental work or if you have a tooth that is bothering you. It’s not a good idea to end up putting yourself in a situation where you are out of town or out of the country with a looming dental emergency. Be sure to get that small cavity addressed before you leave, or talk to us about that nagging toothache before an abscess flares up when you’re away from home.
Orthodontic patients: make sure you bring orthodontic wax. This way, if something pokes your mouth while you are gone, you can quickly cover it up with the wax until you get back into town.
Dental Emergencies Away From Home
Some toothaches don’t require an appointment on the same day, depending on the cause behind them. Eastport Dental can be reached to discuss your concern, even if you’re out of town. We’ll walk you through the next steps to take until we can see you in person, including advice on whether you should see an emergency dentist near you as an interim solution.
Reserve a Checkup Today
Are you ready to take a business trip or vacation? Make sure your smile is healthy before you leave. To book your next appointment, call Eastport Dental today.