How to Maintain Oral Hygiene When You Travel

Traveling is exciting – going to a different place, trying new foods, going on adventures. However, failing to prepare for disruptions to your dental hygiene that could occur while traveling could make you have a miserable time on vacation.

Don’t Put Off Appointments

If you need a dental procedure done, make sure you get it over with before you go on your trip or you could experience discomfort that hinders your ability to fully enjoy your vacation. Make sure to schedule these dental appointments before your departure. You will be glad you took care of this dental business before departing on your trip.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

There is always a possibility that something will happen while on vacation. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure you bring your dental insurance card and a list of your home dental contacts, should something happen and you need to call them. If your home dentist is a member of any international branch associations, make note and ask your insurance provider about options for emergency procedures in the area you are traveling to.

Buy a Toothbrush for Travel

It’s recommended to purchase a cheap toothbrush that you only take traveling, so that your nice toothbrush stays at home, unharmed. You should also replace this toothbrush after each trip, because it is exposed to many more germs than your home toothbrush.

You should also invest in a toothbrush holder. Throwing your toothbrush freely into your bag is unsanitary and unsafe. Buy a holder with ventilation holes so you can have extra protection – after all, you don’t want something with a ton of germs on it to be responsible for cleaning your teeth.

Clean Your Toothbrush Holder While Traveling

When you’re traveling, you usually store your damp toothbrush in your toothbrush holder, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. To keep both items free of germs, you should give them a regular, quick clean.

  • Rinse: Rinse toothbrush and holder thoroughly under hot water, so that all scum and toothpaste residue is removed.
  • Clean: Fill a small cup with antibacterial mouthwash and place both your toothbrush holder in the mouthwash for 30 seconds, then pull it out and rinse it in cold water. Do the same for your toothbrush, but make sure to swish it around a little bit as well.
  • Dry: Dry the toothbrush and toothbrush holder as much as possible. If you are not traveling until the following day, lay them both out to completely dry. If you do not have time to completely dry your toothbrush and holder, make sure you purchased a holder with venting holes to air out the inside of the container where the toothbrush will be stored.

Next time you open your toothbrush to brush, rinse it in hot water first. Do these steps each time you brush your teeth while traveling.

Bring Backup

If you’re put in a situation where you’re unable to brush your teeth but you need to, pick up a pack of sugar-free gum. It’s best to buy gum with xylitol, which is a nonfermentable sugar alcohol that has more dental health benefits than other alternatives. This will at least restore freshness in your breath so you don’t scare others off and can feel a little cleaner and refreshed.

Use these tips to avoid any teeth issues you could encounter while traveling, you’ll be thankful you did!