Vacations are many things: a reward for hard work, a chance to relax, an opportunity to explore new places and try new things. While all of that is wonderful, from an oral health point of view a vacation is also a chance to let your good habits lapse for a bit. While we’re not saying that you shouldn’t have fun on your vacation, you do need to give some consideration to your teeth and gums while doing so. So what are the best ways to care for your oral health while on vacation? As it turns out, there are a number of ways to get the most out of your time away while staying healthy:
- Though it sounds basic: maintaining a brushing and flossing routine while on vacation is one of the biggest things you can do. This can be difficult with hectic schedules and so much to do, but having a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you makes it a bit easier to find time to care for your teeth while enjoying yourself out there.
- Another important aspect of personal health that often gets overlooked on vacation is staying hydrated. Drinking enough water ensures that your body–including your oral health–can function optimally. Vacations are often filled with caffeinated, sugary, or alcoholic beverages. While those are fine in moderation, they don’t do for your body what water does. Carrying a reusable water bottle with you is a great way to help yourself stay hydrated while on vacation.
- As with brushing, flossing, and hydration, it’s easy to overlook the importance of keeping your travel supplies clean while on vacation. The bag in which you stash your toothbrush may be riddled with germs and bacteria, which in turn may transfer to your mouth. By storing your toothbrush in a clean plastic bag and sanitizing it daily, you’ll help avoid this gross fate. Likewise, letting your toothbrush dry out between uses can cut down on bacteria growth on the brush itself.
- While we’re discussing brushing and flossing: travel may take us to some wonderful places, and those places may not all have clean tap water. When in doubt, use bottled water for brushing, rinsing your mouth, and cleaning your toothbrush. Better safe than sorry.
- As at home, eating a healthy diet is an important step in maintaining your oral health while traveling. Part of the joy of vacationing and traveling is visiting new places and trying the local cuisine. While you should absolutely take part in that, give some thought to keeping your teeth and gums healthy while doing so. Limiting sugary or starchy foods, modering the use of alcohol, and of course cleaning your teeth after meals all go a long way towards keeping your teeth healthy while on vacation.
- One final thought: whether on vacation or at home, making time for both rest and exercise helps preserve both your overall health and your oral health. They may seem like small things you can let slide for a week or two, but in reality, both rest and exercise are parts of self-care you should maintain even on vacation. Your teeth, and the rest of your body, will thank you.
We hope you have fun this summer, whether you’re vacationing somewhere exotic or just enjoying the season at home. Regardless of what you’re up to, summertime might be the right time to schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning, so get in touch with us today!