Traveling is a lot of fun. Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, visiting new places brings a host of adventures.
But for most people, shuttling between time zones, trying out new food, experiencing different cultures and visiting wonderful sights comes at the unspoken cost of health.
It isn’t just the extra calories you may put on in holiday mode that is a problem: the usually jam-packed schedule of traveling means that dental hygiene takes a back seat.
One in six people face a dental emergency each year and studies find that a significant chunk of these emergencies happen while one is on vacation.
The reason dental emergencies can happen while travel is because of a number of reasons. Besides irregular (and unusual) meal schedules, most people simply forget to keep up with flossing and brushing twice a day.
Like 2.1 million Americans, if you have a history of dental issues, it is of greater importance that you take care of your teeth even while travel. Fortunately, dental hygiene needs only a little effort.
Here are the top five dental hygiene tips worth following while traveling.
Don’t just rely on complimentary toothbrushes provided by your hotel while on the go. Most hotels keep only hard toothbrushes at hand, which can damage your teeth and gums. Keep your own toothbrush in a small kit.
Carry a dental floss, especially if you are traveling with candy-loving children! Keep a travel-size media bottle of mouthwash on you as well, for a quick rinse (and in case you are traveling to locations with water shortage).
If you travel frequently, keep a separate oral-care travel kit with these things to save time and your teeth!
Keep Your Dentist In The Loop
While getting health insurance for travel is usually a great idea, the best way to be completely secure in case of a dental emergency is by keeping your dentist in the loop. Inform your dentist of your travel plans, and keep his or her number handy.
This is especially important if you have a history of dental complications. If, like nearly 60% American adults, you are unaware of your dental history because you are scared of dentists and their surgical apparatus, fear not!
Thanks to innovations like dental sedation, your visit to the dentist will not be as frightening as you think!
Better safe than sorry: knowing your dental history is better than facing a sudden emergency you are unprepared for.
Even the healthiest people around take a break from their stern while traveling. It is tempting to go to a new country and try out an assortment of desserts, drinks, and chocolates.
Unfortunately, sugar has been linked to everything from obesity to cancer—not to mention, poor dental hygiene. Studies have found that sugar is the only cause of tooth decay, with 92% dental emergencies in the USA emanating from the excessive consumption of sugar.
While you should certainly not deny yourself a treat or two, do not go all out on sugary items while traveling! Avoid hotel candy and stick to a rich bar of low-sugar chocolate instead!
If you love your candy: here’s one type of candy you can chew on guilt-free while traveling. ADA approved sugarfree gum will not only quell your munchies, chewing on it has a number of health benefits. Chewing gum increases your salivary flow.
Not only does this help neutralize teeth-damaging acids produced while eating; it also helps prevent the formation of plaque over your teeth. Take your chewing gum along with you on trips.
While it definitely does not replace the function of brushing and flossing, it helps maintain teeth hygiene on-the-go. (As a bonus: chewing gum while flying will prevent your ears getting blocked due to air pressure!)
Theoretically, everyone brushes their teeth. In actual practice, 1 in 3 people brushing twice a day doesn’t brush their teeth properly. Besides not brushing for two minutes at a time, there are other brushing-related mistakes that people make while traveling.
Most people usually keep their brushes in a closed kit while traveling, without properly drying out the bristles. This causes bacteria formation on the toothbrush. For the same reason, buy a toothbrush holder that has holes in the apparatus.
This way, your bristles stay ventilated and stymie bacteria formation. Another harmful practice is using non-drinking water for brushing.
The tap water in hotels often contains hard salts that are bad for your teeth—it is recommended that you use drinking water provided by the hotel instead.
Millions of Americans travel around the world each year. Every trip brings great memories with it.
You would not want a medical emergency to cut your trip short. If you do face a dental issue that needs immediate care, seek consultancy with a local dentist.