If you’re traveling for the holidays it often means long hours in the car or at a hectic airport.
And who can resist those travel goodie bags of (sometimes sugary) treats to keep your mouth busy and your tummy full? When you’re on the road, it’s important that your teeth get treated as if you are at home – and we all know, that can be difficult.
With a little planning and conscience effort on your part, everyone in the family (including their teeth) can be happy and healthy along the way.
Pack the basics. A toothbrush, toothpaste and floss are essential for the entire family. If you’re limited on space, find toothbrushes that are travel-sized and easier to carry and store.
Stick to “tooth-friendly” snacks. Try and limit the amount of sugary and sticky candies and instead, fill up on healthy foods such as fruits and crunchy vegetables. They’ll keep tummies full longer, and even aid in cleaning the teeth and stimulating saliva production – which staves off dry mouth.
Keep a bottle of water handy. Keeping hydrated helps with dry mouth. Also, take a swig of water and rinse your mouth right after drinking juice or soda to remove the remaining acid and sugar.
Chew sugarless gum. When brushing is nearly impossible, you can chomp on a piece of sugarless gum that contains xylitol. Gum freshens your breath — and it’s great for helping remove food particles stuck on and in between your teeth. It’s not a substitute for brushing, so as soon as you are able, brush up so you can get rid of all that lingering bacteria that can lead to bad breath and tooth decay.
Have your dentist’s phone number handy. Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect it. If a problem arises, having personal contact with your own dental office can ease worry and anxiety – plus, it will give them a heads up that you may need dental care as soon as you get home.
The American Dental Association website is a great resource for finding dentists in the area where you are traveling. Most any dentist will probably see you in an emergency, but it’s always nice to know that the dentist you choose is qualified and reputable.
Are you and your family traveling this holiday season? Share your travel tips in the comments below.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you.