Ideas for maintaining proper oral health on vacation

Taking a vacation is great for your mind and soul but not always great for your teeth. Here are a few simple tips to help you watch your oral health while on holiday.

Go in for a checkup before you leave

The last thing you want on vacation is to have a dental emergency. Make an appointment to have even the slightest toothache looked at ahead of time. You likely don’t want to give up the swimming pool for a dentist’s chair. Aside from the hassle, needing emergency care while away can get expensive. Your insurance may not cover the cost and you probably won’t have time to shop around.

Create an oral care packing list

The easiest way to stick to your oral care routine while away is to pack everything you need. Don’t presume that your hotel will provide a toothbrush and toothpaste, and don’t think a vacation means a week off from flossing. If you’re flying with carry-on only, purchase a travel-sized mouthwash at the pharmacy.

Rein in the sugar

Letting loose on your diet is part of the excitement of vacation – but it’s still a good idea to keep tabs on your sugar consumption and keep treats within reason. Pack a healthy picnic for day trips or make a commitment to eat at least one healthy meal per day.

Here are a few tips to mitigate the risk of damage to your teeth:

  • Use a straw when drinking sugary drinks so less liquid comes into contact with your teeth.
  • Drink a glass of water between drinks or after you finish a dessert.
  • Chew sugar free gum between meals. Chewing gum neutralizes acids while saliva production rinses away sugars and debris.

Ask about the water

International travel means potentially dealing with water issues. Brush with bottled water when visiting a destination where drinking from the tap is not recommended.