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  • Writer's pictureDr. Wade Newman

Travel and Your Oral Health: Essential Tips to Keep in Mind

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Embarking on a journey, whether for business or pleasure, can be an exciting venture. While travel often means breaking out of our daily routines, one routine that should never be skipped, no matter where you are in the world, is your oral care regimen. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind to ensure your oral health doesn't suffer while you're away from home.

Travel and your oral health essential tips to keep in mind from Dr Wade Newman

1. Pre-Trip Dental Check-Up

Before you depart, it's a great idea to visit your dentist for a routine check-up, especially if you'll be away for a prolonged period. This can help identify any potential dental issues that might cause trouble during your trip. The last thing you want is a toothache or other dental emergency in a foreign country.

2. Pack Properly

Don't forget to pack all the oral hygiene essentials. This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash. If you use a special toothpaste or mouthwash, it might be a good idea to bring extras since they may not be available at your destination. Consider investing in a toothbrush cover to keep your brush clean and a travel-sized toothpaste to save space.

3. Hydrate Regularly

Whether you're traveling by air or exploring a new city on foot, it's easy to become dehydrated. Saliva is your mouth's natural defense against tooth decay and gum disease, and dehydration can disrupt its production. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout your journey and limit caffeine and alcohol intake, which can exacerbate dehydration.

4. Snack Wisely

Travel often involves trying new foods and treats, but try to be mindful of your choices. Sugary or starchy snacks can lead to tooth decay. Opt for healthier snacks like fruits, vegetables, and nuts when possible, and remember to rinse your mouth with water after eating.

5. Don’t Skip Brushing and Flossing

No matter how tired you are after a day of sightseeing or how many time zones you've crossed, don't skip brushing and flossing. Dental hygiene is even more important when your routine is disrupted by travel.

6. Handle Dental Emergencies Smartly

Even with all precautions, dental emergencies can occur. If you experience a dental problem, seek professional help as soon as possible. Most hotels can recommend a local dentist. In case of severe trauma, pain, or swelling, seek immediate medical attention.

7. Consider Dental Insurance

If you're planning an extended trip, look into whether your dental insurance covers international dental care or consider purchasing travel health insurance that does. Having coverage can give you peace of mind and save you from hefty medical bills if a dental emergency arises.

Traveling can be one of life's greatest joys, but not at the expense of your oral health. By taking these simple steps to protect your teeth and gums, you can ensure that your smile stays as bright and healthy as your travel adventures. Safe travels!

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