The holidays are a busy time of the year, especially if you’ll be traveling. Whether for business or leisure, your dental health can suffer the consequences of your travel plans. Don’t let the holidays lead to bad news the next time you visit your dentist. Here are 5 tips to keep your mouth healthy while you’re away from home.
1. Create a Travel Dental Kit
No matter if you’re waiting at the airport or you’re on the road, you can’t skip brushing and flossing your teeth for even a day. Plaque can harden into tartar in less than 24 hours. Not to mention, an overgrowth of oral bacteria and food residue can weaken your enamel.
You can make it easy to brush and floss while on the go by creating a travel dental kit. Besides a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, don’t forget to pack any cleaning products for oral appliances.
2. Commit to Brushing and Flossing
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes to remove food residue and plaque. If you’re snacking more often, strive to brush after every meal. Don’t forget to floss at least once a day.
3. Watch What You Eat
The holidays are full of many mouth-watering foods that can add inches to your waistline and increase your risk of decay. Many convenient snacks that you might grab from a gas station or gift shop are equally bad as candy canes, stuffing, and sugar cookies.
It’s important to limit your consumption of sugars and starches. Instead, choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain essential nutrients and act as scrub brushes for your teeth to keep your mouth clean.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can sneak up on you while you’re traveling. A dry mouth is a sign you’re not drinking enough water because your saliva production will decrease. If your mouth is too dry, oral bacteria growth can get out of control quickly, leading to odors, cavities, and gum disease. Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water every day to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist.
5. Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing sugarless gum will increase saliva production to keep your mouth moist. You’ll cleanse your teeth and combat bad breath when you can’t get to your toothbrush.
Visit Your Dentist Before You Leave
Schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist before your departure. They’ll clean your teeth and examine your mouth to look for anything concerning, like tooth decay. As a result, you’re less likely to have a dental emergency interrupt your travel plans.
While you enjoy your time away, don’t forget about your dental health. You’ll maintain a healthy, beautiful smile as you head into the new year.
About Dr. S. John Salivonchik
Dr. Salivonchik has over 2 decades of experience creating healthy smiles. Since earning his dental degree from the Temple Dental School, he has regularly continued his training in many specialties, like dental implants, laser dentistry, and Invisalign. He is a reputable dentist who is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (610) 813-2855.