As the end of summer draws nearer, many families are squeezing in one or two more vacations. If you’re one of those families, it’s important to remember to keep up healthy dental habits, even when out of your normal routine. This is especially important for children, so they understand how much their oral health matters.
Whether you are planning a camping trip, a beach vacation, or a tour around the world, remember to keep your family’s daily schedule of brushing and flossing. Here are a few other tips to take note of before you pack those bags.
1. Keep Supplies Handy
Heading out on a long road trip? Keep floss, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in the glove compartment for every member of the family. They’ll be easily accessible when you want to clean your teeth at a rest stop after snacking or eating meals on the go.
2. Skip the travel cases
Travel cases for toothbrushes seem like a great idea. They help prevent the bristles from touching surfaces that could transfer bacteria, right? Actually, the moist environment can encourage bacterial growth. Skip the travel case and let your toothbrush air-dry before putting it away.
3. Choose carry-on
Hopping on a plane? Keep a small tube of toothpaste (up to 3.4 ounces) in a quart-size sealable plastic bag, along with your toothbrush and floss. If you have your dental supplies with you, you can brush your teeth during the flight or during layovers.
4. Visit the dentist before you leave
Don’t let anyone leave home with a toothache! If you or a family member are experiencing any pain, make an appointment with your dentist before you leave. A dental emergency can ruin a vacation!
5. Keep your receipts
If you’re traveling and find you need dental care, you may be able to get reimbursed for the cost by your dental insurance. First, check your plan. Then if you do need to visit a dentist, make sure to get a detailed receipt that includes date of service, name and address of dentist, list of procedures and affected teeth, and currency of payment.
6. Stick to your routine
Most important: Don’t stray from your oral health routine. You may be on vacation, but plaque and harmful bacteria aren’t. Stick to brushing twice and flossing once a day to keep your teeth cavity-free.
7. Don’t forget healthy eating habits!
Even though you are on vacation, you don’t want to load up on sugary treats that can lead to cavities. Keep snacks low in sugar and include crunchy fruits and vegetables throughout the day, especially when on the road. Also, drink lots of water and check the water quality where you visit to make sure it’s safe to drink. You can check the Centers for Disease Control’s website to see region-specific health information.
We wish you and your family happy and safe travels this summer season!
Resources: Delta Dental, Healthline, CDC