As you prepare for your many summer trips and vacations you are probably taking a million precautions to make sure the trip goes off without a hitch. Here are a few tips to make sure all your hard work won’t be spoiled by an easily prevented dental snafu.
Save time. Pack your toiletries early
As tempting as it is to just throw your toiletries in the bag in the morning before you head out on vacation it is also the easiest way to forget essentials. Your toothbrush, retainer— if you still wear one—or other important necessities should be packed the night before to ensure that your dental hygiene doesn’t take a vacation just because you did. Planning ahead helps ensure that you’re not running to the hotel gift shop or closest gas station at the last minute.
Ice is for cooling not chewing
Of course no one wants a list of things they can’t do while on vacation so to narrow it down to one big no no, avoid this bad habit; chewing hard ice. It may seem like a silly thing to warn against but many people chomp away out of boredom or to squeeze that last drop of soda from the ice cubes stuck to the bottom of the glass, causing unwanted chipped, cracked or lost teeth.
Keep your brush high and dry
On the road it is so easy to brush your teeth and stick your toothbrush back in that plastic travel tube right away. The thought is that this will keep it free of foreign hotel germs or an accidental drop onto the bathroom floor. However, most people don’t know that it is important to let your brush dry out before storing it. A damp or moist toothbrush is a like an invitation for bacteria to grow. Storing it in an open area and upright position gives it a chance to dry out before your next use.
After Meal Care
When you’re on vacation the last thing you want to do after a great meal is run to your room and brush your teeth. Carrying a disposable brush or floss is a great way to maintain your dental hygiene even on the go. Luckily for us, travel-sized mouthwash bottles, floss and toothpaste are easily found at grocery stores, usually for less than a dollar apiece. An even more fun trick is to pop in a piece of sugar free gum after meals. It can help remove food particles from those hard-to-reach places in between your teeth when you can’t floss.
Dr. Louis Bosse is a Houston dentist at Greenspoint Dental. who has practiced dentistry for more than 15 years. He continues to perfect his craft by attending educational seminars to ensure that his clients receive the most comprehensive and advanced dental care.