Tips for Dental Care when Traveling


Maintaining good oral health while traveling sounds simple enough, but it's very challenging especially if you're super busy, out of your usual routine, or haven't properly prepared. Your oral health can be significantly impacted by a lack of regular routine, in-flight dehydration, and overindulging in particular foods and/or beverages you would normally limit.

Oral health is a vital part of your overall health. Neglecting it can lead to dental health problems such as cavities or gum disease, which can become severe conditions such as oral cancer, diabetes, and a weakened immune system. So you definitely don't want to stop taking care of your teeth just because you're hitting the road, skies, or beaches.

If you're thinking about traveling, it's important to be prepared.

Before Your Trip

Get A Dental Check-up

It is a great idea to schedule a cleaning and a regular check-up with your dentist if you have any dental concerns or ongoing problems with your oral health. It is best to take care of it before your trip so that you can enjoy it with no worries and pack your bags. Your dentist can recommend or supply you with everything you need for your trip.

Schedule a check-up appointment with us today so we can help you enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.

Pack Correctly, Pack Lightly

Packing your dental toiletries is as important as packing your clothes, shoes, holiday gifts, and making itineraries. It's really important to have a checklist for dental care.

  • A Toothbrush (This could be a travel toothbrush or a regular one, but definitely pack it in a travel case)
  • Floss (Save space and use those sample packs - like the ones you get from the dentist!)
  • Mouthwash / Toothpaste (Most pharmacies and some grocers carry travel sizes)
  • Any teeth-whitening products you use (again, be aware of container size limits when flying)

Pro Tip: In case you forgot your toothbrush, you can get it easily from a convenience store. Many hotels also offer them for free. If you can't get one right away, sometimes it's better to make use of what you have such as brushing your teeth with your finger, using a toothbrush with plain water, or just rinsing with mouthwash.

During your Trip

Store Your Toothbrush Properly

Drying out your toothbrush before putting it in a case or bag will help prevent it from collecting bacteria. If you need to pack it up immediately after brushing, just pull it out and let it dry once you've reached your next destination.

Be Cautious with Water

If the local water is compromised or simply unsafe to drink, you shouldn't use it to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth. Bottled or boiled water are safer options wherever you are.

Bring Sugar-free Gum with You

Chewing sugar-free gum can help neutralize acids and minimize bacteria. It also increases saliva production to help wash away food particles after a meal. If you can't brush your teeth, sugar-free gum can be a good substitute to hold you over until you can.

Be Mindful of Sugary Treats

It's vacation time, and you deserve a treat!

However, be mindful that too many sugary treats can negatively impact your teeth. It's always the best idea to balance the occasional treat with mindful snack ideas, including fresh fruits, baby carrots, mixed nuts, cheese cubes, sliced apples with peanut butter, beef jerky, popcorn, and bananas. During long flights, drink plenty of water, avoid sticky snacks and chew sugar-free gum. No matter the snack, try to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after eating.

In case of Emergency

Dental emergencies might happen anytime you travel, even if you're careful about your dental health. Being prepared for these emergencies ahead of time can provide you with peace of mind when you're on your trip.

  • Keep your dentist's phone number handy so you can call for minor tooth pain or sensitivity.
  • If you have a major problem, such as broken or cracked teeth, go to the emergency room right away or ask friends or family to recommend a local dentist.
After your Trip

Get Back to Your Usual Dental Routine

It's normal to get a little lazy with our dental care on vacation. We might have skipped flossing or brushing a couple of times and indulged in sweets and sodas. But don't let these temporary bad habits become permanent ones!

Get back to your dental routine of brushing and flossing to make sure your pearly whites remain healthy.

Get Back to Your Dentist

If you've experienced any problems or complications, we recommend you see your dentist when you return. If you've consulted another dentist during your trip, ask to have your file transferred to your dentist back home so that he or she can remain updated on your oral health.

Teeth never take a vacation!

Be nice to your teeth when you're having fun since teeth never take a vacation. A holiday may only last a few days or weeks, but your teeth must last a lot longer than that. Maintain your oral health routine, use these tips for oral health on the go, and enjoy yourself!

Your dentist can give you the best dental/oral care tips when you are planning to travel. Contact our office today!