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  • Writer's pictureDr. Wade Newman

Oral Health Tips for Hunters: What You Need to Know

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Heading out into the wilderness for a hunting expedition is an exciting experience that can bring you closer to nature and teach you valuable survival skills. However, when you're in the great outdoors, you need to be just as attentive to your oral health as you are to tracking and navigating. Here are some oral health tips for hunters that can help you maintain good dental hygiene while enjoying your hunting trip.

Oral health tips for hunters: what you need to know by Dr Wayne Newman

1. Stick to a Dental Routine

Just because you're in the outdoors doesn't mean you should let your dental routine slide. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrushes can be a convenient addition to your hunting gear. If you don't have access to clean water, consider using disposable mini toothbrushes that come preloaded with toothpaste and don't require rinsing.

2. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is vital during hunting trips, not just for maintaining energy levels and physical stamina, but also for your oral health. Saliva is essential for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles in your mouth. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Always keep a water bottle handy and take frequent sips, even if you don't feel thirsty.

3. Watch Your Snacks

Energy bars and dried fruits are convenient snacks to pack for hunting trips, but they can be high in sugars, which can lead to tooth decay. Opt for low-sugar options or alternatives like nuts and seeds. If you do snack on sugary foods, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum afterward to stimulate saliva production.

4. Protect Your Teeth

Hunting can be a high-intensity activity, and accidents can happen. If you're involved in a more physical form of hunting or using large equipment, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from possible injury.

5. Handle Dental Emergencies

Despite taking precautions, dental emergencies can occur. It's important to have a basic understanding of how to handle common dental problems. If a tooth is knocked out, keep it moist (preferably in milk, or water as a last resort) and seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. Over-the-counter dental cement can be used for broken or cracked teeth until you can get to a dentist.

6. Pre and Post-Trip Dental Check-ups

Before you head out on your hunting trip, consider a dental check-up to address any potential issues that could cause problems while you're in the wilderness. Once you return, another dental visit can ensure that your oral health has not been adversely affected during your trip.

Remember, maintaining your oral health is just as important as maintaining your hunting equipment. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy will contribute to a more enjoyable and successful hunting experience.

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