July 1, 2019
Summer is a time when many of us travel. Whether you’re camping in the mountains, hitting the beach, or visiting a faraway city, you’re ready to relax. But don’t take a vacation from your dental health. Check out our travel tips for teeth, so your smile will stay healthy while you’re away from home and when you return.
If you have questions about any of our advice or need to schedule an appointment, call Appalachian Dental Care at 828-355-5673.
Address Dental Issues Before You Go
If you’re due for a dental exam soon, go ahead and schedule it before you go. We’ll resolve issues like small cavities, so they won’t become bigger problems during your travels. This is a good idea before any trip, but it’s especially wise if you’re traveling to a remote area or anywhere where your access to dental care may be limited.
Let us know if you plan to fly, scuba dive, or just spend some time at higher altitudes. We’ll check your dental restorations to make sure they’re in good shape. This can help you avoid a condition called barodontalgia or “tooth squeeze.” It occurs when air trapped in your teeth expands or contracts.
Prepare for a Dental Emergency
Hopefully you won’t experience a dental emergency, but it’s a good idea to be prepared just in case. Program our contact information into your phone. Carry a card in your wallet too, just in case your phone dies. That way, you’ll be able to reach us so we can advise you on how to handle your emergency.
if the problem can’t wait until you get home, you can contact your insurance company for help in finding a qualified dentist who can treat you. If you’re in another country, you can contact a local dental association, the local consulate, or the U.S. embassy.
Keep Oral Hygiene Supplies Handy
Another one of our travel tips for teeth that falls under the “be prepared” category is to make sure all of your oral hygiene supplies aren’t packed away. If you’re flying, keep travel-sized toothpaste, floss, and a toothbrush in your carry-on. If you’re traveling by car, you can stow supplies in the glove compartment.
If you forget to pack your toothbrush, you can use toothpaste on your finger until you’re able to replace your brush. If you use a nightguard or other mouthguard, make sure you don’t leave it at home.
Take Good Care of Your Toothbrush
Toothbrush holders are handy, but a closed container will encourage bacteria growth on your brush. Select a holder that has holes for ventilation. You can also use a resealable plastic bag. No matter which one you use, once you arrive take your brush out where the air can easily circulate. Allow it to dry before putting it into a container again.
Pack Chewing Gum
One of our tastier travel tips for teeth is to bring sugarless gum with you. Chewing it after you eat will help fight cavities by getting your saliva flowing. If you’re flying or driving into higher altitudes, it will also help relieve painful ear pressure.
Watch What You Eat and Drink, Especially the Water
Just like at home, it’s a good idea to avoid sugary snacks and highly acidic foods and drinks. It’s especially important in situations like a long car trip, where it may be quite a while before you can brush your teeth. If brushing isn’t an option, rinse your mouth out with water.
A special word about water: If the local supply isn’t safe enough to drink, don’t brush your teeth or even rinse your mouth with it either. Use bottled water instead. If you get questionable water on your toothbrush, replace it or at least rinse it well in bottled water.
We hope you find our travel tips for teeth useful! If we can schedule an exam or do anything else for you before you go, call us at 828-355-5673.