Vacations are a great time to relax, explore new places, and enjoy delicious food. However, they can also pose some challenges for your oral health, especially if you travel to a different country or region.
Here are some tips to keep your teeth healthy while on vacation.
Pack Your Dental Essentials
Don't forget to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash with you. You may not be able to find the same products or brands in your destination, or they may be more expensive or of lower quality.
It's also a good idea to pack some sugar-free gum or mints to freshen your breath and stimulate saliva production after meals. Saliva helps neutralize bacterial acids and rinse away particles of food.
Stick to Your Routine
Even if you're on vacation, you should still brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Try to maintain your regular schedule as much as possible and avoid skipping or delaying your oral hygiene habits. If you're traveling across time zones, adjust your routine accordingly and set reminders on your phone or watch. Plaque can harden into tartar if left undisturbed for prolonged periods.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Vacations are often an opportunity to indulge in local cuisine and beverages, but some of the items you ingest can be harmful to your teeth. Avoid foods and drinks that are too sugary, acidic, sticky, or hard, as they can cause tooth decay, erosion, sensitivity, or damage. Instead, opt for foods and drinks that are good for your teeth, such as cheese, yogurt, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and water.
Drink Lots of Water
Hydration is essential to your overall health and well-being, but it's also important for your oral health. Water helps rinse plaque and particles of food from your teeth and gums. Additionally, it prevents dry mouth, which can increase the risk of cavities and bad breath.
Water also helps balance the pH level of your mouth and neutralizes acids that can erode your enamel. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and more if you're in a hot or dry climate.
Visit a Dentist if Needed
Sometimes, dental emergencies can happen while you're on vacation, such as a toothache, a chipped or knocked-out tooth, a lost filling or crown, or an infection. If you experience any of these problems, don't ignore them or wait until you get back home. Seek professional help as soon as possible from a local dentist or an emergency dental clinic. You can ask your hotel staff, your travel agent, or your insurance company for recommendations or referrals.
To ensure your teeth are healthy before your vacation trip, schedule a consultation with a family dental care service in your local area.