There’s no place like home for the holidays—as the song goes. But getting there can be stressful! Whether you’re catching a flight or driving, taking care of your smile is probably not the first thing on your mind. But unlike you and your family, oral bacteria don’t take a break, and if you’re not careful, the holiday season can end with a cavity or two. So here are some tips to help your teeth and gums weather holiday travel and stay healthy.
Visit the Dentist
Before you head out, make sure you’ve been checked by your dentist. If you have any early signs of a cavity, they’ll catch it and address the problem. That way, you won’t have a toothache or other dental emergency complicating your holiday plans.
Keep Up Your Usual Hygiene Routine
When traveling, many people like to pack in their schedules to take advantage of every minute, but don’t let your smile suffer as a result. Even if you have events that go late into the night, make sure you do your normal hygiene routine before going to bed. Brushing and flossing can help protect your teeth and gums while you sleep.
Let Your Toothbrush Dry
Away from home, many travelers keep their belongings packed in their suitcase, but your toothbrush needs time to completely dry between uses. Trapping moisture on your toothbrush allows bacteria to grow and contaminate the bristles, which can increase your chances of a cavity or gum disease. If you can, leave your toothbrush out of your suitcase so it can dry.
Don’t Forget to Floss
It only takes a couple of minutes every day, but don’t underestimate the importance of flossing. Without this habit, plaque can accumulate between your teeth, potentially causing decay or infection. Make the time to floss at least once a day to keep plaque to a minimum.
You can’t travel without having some snacks. Especially if you aren’t able to sit down and have official meals, junk food can even be your main source of nourishment getting from one place to another. However, you need to be smart about your snacking choices. For instance, instead of sugary candy, you could have almonds, which have plenty of protein and give you energy for travel. Also, do your best to have designated times or set meals instead of grazing throughout the day.
Staying properly hydrated while you travel can be a challenge, but you need to have water frequently. Other beverages can contain sugar, promoting bad bacterial growth in the mouth. Sips of water throughout the day will help your body run more smoothly as well as rinse your mouth of food debris, plaque, and bacteria.
Regardless of your travel plans, you can take these steps in order to safeguard your smile. With just a little bit of effort and time, you can still enjoy your trip and return with strong teeth and gums, not cavities.
About the Practice
Boyles General Dentistry & Implant Center has been serving the Midland community for nearly 40 years. Dr. Franklin Boyles and Dr. Stephen Boyles have achieved high status in the Academy of General Dentistry, an accomplishment few dentists have earned throughout the country. Whether you need a basic checkup or complex dental implant treatment, we’re here to meet your needs and exceed expectations. Contact us online or call our office at 432-685-7011 for an appointment.