Nothing feeds the soul quite like that period of time before an upcoming trip when you’re busy putting everything together and organising that next getaway, but for frequent travellers, certain elements such as caring for your oral health may begin to suffer if you don’t incorporate them into your plans. But even if you’re just going on vacation and it’s a once-in-a-while thing, your oral health is as important as any other aspect of the trip.
That’s why you get one of those disposable or even multiple-use toothbrushes in some of those goodie bags that some airlines give out, along with a tiny, single-use toothpaste tube. It’s simply that important…
There are some specific areas to look at as part of caring for your oral health while travelling.
Pre-establish a good oral health routine
I’m probably only just now starting to understand what my high school biology teacher meant when she emphasised that we should make an effort to take care of our health long before there are any signs of something going wrong. It’s very difficult, granted, but it’s important to be proactive about taking care of your health, including your oral health.
In the specific case of accounting for you oral health while you’re out on the road, it’s pretty much all about pre-establishing a solid oral health routine which will be as natural as ever to carry on implementing it while you’re on the road. So make it habitual to brush twice a day, for example, no matter what transpires and not matter where you are. Find a way!
Other ways through which one takes care of their oral health should also be incorporated into your routine, as discussed below.
Making provision for dynamic oral healthcare adjustments
Before we get into the other elements of a solid oral health routine, it’s perhaps pertinent to discuss the fact that you’ll probably need to make some on-the-fly adjustments while you’re travelling. This means dealing with situations as they arise, such as something like planning to drink something acidic for later on in the day if you know that you won’t make it back to your hotel room in time to brush in line with your regular schedule.
If for example you missed your regular morning brush by a couple of hours or so, maybe because you were stuck in an airport or something like that, don’t let that mean that you’re not going to brush at all. Brush at your earliest convenience, or chew some sugar-free gum and have a drink of water.
Eat healthy foods that are good for your teeth
It can be very easy to fall off the healthy-eating bicycle and stay off it in your regular life, but even more so when you’re travelling. Try to maintain a healthy diet either way, comprised out of foods that are known to be good for your teeth, such as high-fibre foods and leafy vegetables, strawberries, dairy products and plenty of water. We’ve already mentioned sugar-free gum, but it’s perhaps worth mentioning again because chewing gum is probably quite a common feature in the lifestyle of any traveller. If you are planning to correct any alignment issues, consider how this could impact future vacations. A product like Invisalign would be warranted here so you can enjoy all the local food and simply remove the retainers when eating
Try by all means to avoid those foods which are known to be bad for your teeth, particularly those which, like chewing gum, are probably synonymous with the life of a traveller. I’m talking about coffee, amongst others. Rather get some sleep instead of drinking coffee to try and stay up.
Oral health starts with general gut-health
Generally, a healthy smile will be enjoyed as a result of an overall healthy body, particularly a healthy gut. Sure, breath mints can be used to counteract some bad breath, but serious halitosis is usually indicative of some deeper, underlying health issues which have a lot to do with the stomach as the source. So make sure to maintain a healthy regime all round.
Visit a local dentist for a check-up or clean
Obviously you wouldn’t likely visit a specialist dental medical centre such as an orthodontic clinic while abroad, but it’s okay to check-in with a local dentist for a check-up or a simple clean. That way any major issues with your oral health can be picked up long before they start to become serious.