Keeping Up With Oral Health Habits on the Road

Oral_HealthSummer travel can be fun, but it also can be exhausting. Your oral health routine is often one of the first habits to fall
victim to schedule disruptions and the unpredictability to life on the road.

However, it is possible to preserve the joy of your adventures without sacrificing the health of your teeth and gums. Understanding what parts of your dental-care routine are the most crucial goes a long way toward helping you find a way to continue them while you’re on a trip.

 Keeping your mouth happy on the road

  • Brush your teeth at least once a day, and always brush before going to bed.
  • Let your toothbrush dry out after use. Many toothbrushes, especially the “travel-sized” versions, come with covers to protect the bristles. But if you do not let your brush dry completely before covering it, the toothbrush can harbor mold and bacteria, which will go into your mouth the next time you use it.
  • Floss at least once a day. Continuing to floss on the road is vital to your oral health. If you skip flossing, you are only cleaning 60 percent of the surface of your teeth. If you don’t like traditional floss, try packing some “flossers,” which are dental tools that have handles that hold the floss in place for you, or interdental brushes, which are small toothbrushes that are specifically designed to clean between your teeth.
  • Know which road-trip snacks are friendly to your teeth. Dental-friendly snacks include firm-crunchy fruits such as apples and pears, fresh vegetables such as carrots and celery, sugarless chewing gum made with xylitol, and unsweetened green and black tea. Water is essential for keeping your mouth hydrated and washing away the food debris that causes plaque. Stay away from snacks such as crackers, chips, candy and soda pop.

“We change our routine when we travel, but some things stay the same,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in Phoenix. “We shower, we change our clothes, and we fuel up the car when it is running low on gas. Oral health habits need to stay on the list of ‘must-do’ activities to make sure the journey is a happy one for your teeth and gums!”

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