Dental Guides

Taking Care of Your Teeth While Traveling

When planning to travel out of town or the country, you always pack your toiletries. A toothbrush and toothpaste are pretty much the first things you pack. Like you would add your sunscreen and shoes, they are essentials.

When you come off the plane or bus, tired, clothes rumpled and your mouth stinking, you know the hard part of traveling is staying clean and fresh. When you are well prepared for your journey, you know a few things to help with your breath, how to have a shower without having water nearby or even sleep in the most uncomfortable seat.

No matter where you are going, be it Fiji, South Africa or to Canada, taking care of your teeth while traveling might not be on your immediate to-do list. Here are tips on taking care of your teeth while traveling.

Before the D-day.

It all starts when you know you are about to travel. Some things that you need to take into consideration before you begin your travels.

Visit your dentist. Go ahead before your traveling date. This way you’ll know if any issues need to be attended to or you’re good to travel. Inform your dentist you are about to go. In case you will be traveling for a more extended period, it’s crucial to have a dental check-up before you travel.

Confirm you are insured. Your insurance might or might not cover dental emergencies, double check just to be sure. If not, get travel medical insurance and know in detail what the policy’s coverage is.

Stock oral hygiene supplies. On your list, you should have your toothbrush and its case that has enough ventilation and drainage, toothpaste (a small tube that can keep in your carry-on), sugarless gum to use when you can't brush and keep your teeth clean and dental floss. Add Listerine PocketMist to your bag to kill off germs and painkillers like ibuprofen, in case you get a toothache.

If you don’t have water, you can use Colgate Wisps which are disposable mini-toothbrushes. They can clean your teeth pretty thoroughly, and you can swallow it, besides the brush obviously.

In case you wear a retainer, mouth guard, dentures or headgear, do not forget to pack the case and carry it.

All these should be placed in a bag, find yourself a good sized travel bag that will be able to fit all your oral health supplies.

Look up dental clinics that are trusted at your destination. If you can't find a dentist at your destination, consult your dentist, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT).

In case you forgot your toothbrush, try these solutions.

i.Find a pharmacy and purchase a toothbrush.

ii.Use a cloth or your finger to apply toothpaste to your teeth. Apply on your gums and the outside and inside of your teeth.

iii.Swish water in your mouth after eating to clean your teeth.

iv.At your destination, ask the front desk if they have complimentary replacement toothbrush. If they don’t have any, go the nearest gift shop and purchase one.

Some foods you can eat to help with your breath include Granny Smith apples, limes, and lemons. Broccoli, baby carrots instead of sugary treats.

When en route.

You might have a few hours delayed before you get to your destination, you can use the washroom to keep your breath fresh and clean up a little bit. Here are some tips to help teeth clean while on the move.

  • Your dental bag should be in your hand luggage for easy access. To allow you to clean at the washrooms at the bus station or airport.
  • Try to stay clear of sugary foods and soft drinks. As much as we like to snack on chocolate, cookies, and cake while traveling for a long distance avoid them as much as you can. Eat smart to keep your teeth clean for a while. You can eat nuts and seeds instead of gummy bears.
  • Mouthwash to the rescue. When there’s a long line at the stop, you can use a bottle of mouthwash. It’s not to replace flossing or brushing, but it guarantees you fresh breath.

While away.

Eat out, drink as much as you want and indulge in the cuisines wherever you are but do not neglect to care for your teeth.

  • Keep your toothbrush well ventilated and clean. Run water through your toothbrush and make it stand upright to dry. Your toothbrush will breed bacteria if wet.
  • Carry out your usual oral routine.

i.Brush twice a day.

  • Floss every day to help remove tartar from the surfaces of your tooth, and it will reach where the toothbrush can’t.

iii.Rinse your mouth with water in case you can’t access a toothbrush after eating.

iv.Drink bottled water if local water isn’t safe to drink.

v.Eat foods that friendly to your teeth. This includes vegetables and fiber-rich fruits, dairy products like plain yogurt and tea, like black or green tea.

  • Avoid sweets, soft drinks, and starchy foods. You can eat them but in small quantities.
  • After eating, chew gum to scrub away food particles from your teeth. You can also try to eat raw veggie or fruits such as an apple with the peel clean to remove food particles from your mouth.

Everyone should know ways in which they should be taking care of their teeth while traveling. This is a guide that you can use next time on your travels.

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