We all know that proper oral hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth and teeth. But sometimes it’s easy for those daily habits to go out the window when we are traveling. Because we are out of our normal routine, it can be difficult to remember to perform our basic tasks like brushing and flossing. Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy habits while you and your family are on the road.
Consume Healthy Snacks
It’s easy to get off track on our healthy eating habits when we are relaxing and traveling. Even business travel can make it difficult to maintain good eating habits. Always avoid sugary snacks when you are traveling as the sugar they contain can be very bad for your teeth. Sugar can also make children have more energy so they are best avoided. When you can’t brush immediately after eating foods containing sugar, it can also lead to cavities. Instead of eating snacks loaded with sugar, choose healthier snacks like fresh fruit, veggies or nuts. Boxed fruit juices might be convenient when you are traveling specifically with small children, but they can contribute to tooth decay. Choose water or unsweetened beverages for both you and your children. If you are traveling by car you may choose to use a small cooler to keep fresh fruits and veggies for handy, healthy snacks.
Brushing Break and Potty Break
If you travel a lot, make it a habit to brush your teeth when you make a pit stop. Carry a travel toothbrush in a small bag or purse so that it is convenient and handy. Then when you take a bathroom break, grab your toothbrush and give your teeth a quick rinse and brush. If you are not driving, it can be easy to floss on the fly too. A disposable floss stick is great for flossing on the road. There are also small toothbrushes that have toothpaste built in to them. These are useful for quick brushes when traveling.
End of the Day Cleaning Practices
When you reach a destination whether that is Aunt Sally’s house or a hotel, take some time to thoroughly clean your teeth. Make sure that you and your family members do a good job flossing and then brush the teeth to ensure they are clean. A good mouthwash or mouth rinse can also help remove harmful bacteria. Don’t sweat it if you forgot your toothbrush, most hotels provide oral hygiene supplies as a courtesy if you call and ask them for them.
What to Take On the Road
The key to maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits on the road is taking what you need with you. In some instances you may opt for convenient travel sizes or disposable options. At any rate, carrying these with you will help you remember to practice good oral hygiene. You may purchase a special travel size toothbrush for your journey since it is small and usually folds in half so that the bristles are protected from bacteria and debris while packed away in your bag. If you want to take your regular toothbrush with you, just purchase a cover cap. This will snap onto the head of the toothbrush and keep it from dripping on other items as well as keeping it clean.
You may also opt to purchase travel size mouthwash, floss or picks, and toothpaste. Remember if you are flying and carrying your dental supplies with you there are size limitations for liquids. TSA regulations are that carry-on liquids have to be 3.4 ounces or less, you can only carry one and it must be in a quart sized plastic zip bag. You may want to carry your own floss with you or purchase disposable tooth picks that have a piece of floss for flossing. These can be handy and they are disposable for quick discarding. They do not take up much space but can be very effective at protecting your dental health. If you want a smaller tube of toothpaste for traveling, you can purchase a sample size or ask your dentist for a small sample size tube next time you visit.