If you’re like many folks, you’ve got a trip or two scheduled this summer. Whether you’re taking a cruise, flying across the country, or camping in the woods, you’re ready for a change of scenery. Unfortunately, oral hygiene on the go can be a challenge since travel disrupts our routines.
Our Montgomery, AL dentists have offered some tips that will keep your teeth healthy, no matter where you’re headed. If you have questions about any of our suggestions or want to schedule an appointment before your trip, call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423.
Schedule an Exam Before You Go
If you’re due for a dental exam soon, make time for it before your departure. Our dentists will fix issues like small cavities, so they won’t become bigger problems while you’re away from home. This is especially important advice if you’re traveling to a destination where your access to dental care may be limited.
If you’ll spend some time at higher altitudes (flying, scuba diving, or hiking in the mountains), let us know. We’ll ensure your fillings and other dental restorations are in good shape. If restorations are loose or otherwise compromised, air can become trapped inside your teeth, causing them to expand or contract and causing a condition called barodontalgia or “tooth squeeze.”
Keep Your Tooth Care Supplies Within Reach
One challenge of oral hygiene on the go is keeping your teeth clean in transit. Don’t put your oral hygiene supplies where you can’t easily get to them. If you’re flying, keep a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your carry-on. If you’re on the road in a car, store your oral hygiene supplies in the glove compartment.
Forget to pack your toothbrush? No problem, use toothpaste on your finger until you can replace your brush. Getting a good night’s rest is often a challenge while traveling. If you use a nightguard or other mouthguard, make sure you’ve got it with you.
Keep Your Toothbrush Dry
You brush your teeth to rid them of bacteria. So you don’t want bacteria on your toothbrush. Use a toothbrush holder that thas holes for ventilation to keep your brush as dry as possible. A resealable plastic bag is another option if you keep it slightly open. As soon as you arrive, remove your brush and put it where air can easily circulate. Allow it to dry before putting it back into your holder.
Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies
No one wants to experience a dental emergency on the road, but it’s a good idea to be prepared just in case one happens. We suggest putting our contact information into your phone. Keep a card in your wallet too, just in case your phone runs out of juice. With a dentist always on call, you’ll be able to reach us so we can help you handle your emergency.
if the problem can’t wait until you get home, you can contact your insurance company to help you find a qualified dentist near your location. If you’re in another country, the local dental association, the local consulate, or the U.S. embassy are all good resources for finding a dentist who can treat you.
Keep Chewing Gum Handy for Oral Hygiene on the Go
One of our tastier tips for oral hygiene on the go is to carry sugarless gum with you. Chew it after you eat to keep your saliva flowing, an action that helps fight cavities. For especially effective anti-decay action, pick a gum that contains xylitol. If you’re flying or driving into higher altitudes, chewing gum also relieves painful ear pressure.
Be Careful of What You Eat and Drink, Especially the Water
Just like at home, don’t overdo it on sugary snacks and highly acidic foods and drinks. It’s especially important in situations like long stretches in a car or plane, where you may be unable to brush your teeth at regular intervals. Rinse your mouth out with water when brushing isn’t an option.
A word about water: If the local supply isn’t safe enough to drink, don’t brush your teeth with it either – or even rinse your mouth with it. Use bottled water instead. If you get questionable water on your toothbrush, replace it or at least rinse it well in bottled water.
We hope you won’t neglect oral hygiene on the go! If we can schedule an exam or do anything else for you before you leave, call 334-600-1423.