Spring is in full swing, and what better time to take that vacation you have been planning for a while than right now? Even though traveling can be one of the most eye-opening experiences, many do not like the idea of having to deal with terrible travel hygiene. In fact, many dread the possibility of having foul breath and overall terrible oral hygiene when traveling far away from home. Naturally, it can be challenging paying close attention to oral health when you are out of your usual routine. Nevertheless, the health of your mouth should always remain a top priority, even when the circumstances are not ideal. Are you aware that the odds of halitosis are much higher when you are taking a trip? In order to prevent any serious illnesses and to keep the journey as enjoyable as possible, it is advisable to follow these tips.
1. Keep your toothbrush dry
The number one mistake more and more people tend to make is storing the toothbrush while it is still wet. Unfortunately, this way, the brush becomes a true breeding ground for different types of harmful bacteria. Instead, after brushing your teeth, make sure to rinse the brush head thoroughly with ice-cold water, and get rid of the excess moisture by shaking it well. Next, take a clean towel (or a tissue), and pat it dry. This way, if you store your brush when it is no longer wet, the microbes are unable to grow in the bristles. Another mistake travelers tend to make is covering the brush with a plastic cap as soon as they have finished cleaning their teeth. This method leads to bacteria growth as well, because the cap prevents the evaporation. Just imagine the whole process like this: The plastic cap can act as a sort of incubator for the germs to grow and flourish. Yuck. On a side note, take a travel bag with you, preferably one which lets air easily pass through.
2. Try the no brush and paste method
We all know how it feels like; you have just arrived at your destination, and as soon as you unpack your bags, you realize that the toothbrush or toothpaste is missing. Instead of panicking and wondering if you are able to brush your teeth at all, consider the following tip. One of the best substitutes for toothpaste is using baking soda. But how do you apply this method? All you need to do is mix the baking soda with a bit of water and rub it on your teeth. Also, if you are lucky enough, then you can easily get your hands on some type of unrefined oil, such as coconut or sesame seed oil. Take inspiration from Ayurvedic medicine and swish a teaspoon of oil in your mouth to get rid of all the toxins which might have accumulated. Plus, if you have forgotten your brush at home, you can easily use your tongue as an alternative to clean your pearly whites.
3.Chew some gum
Dentists suggest washing your teeth at least twice a day, or for optimal results, after every meal. However, when you are on a trip, it can be quite tricky to pull out your toothbrush and get to scrubbing. Fortunately, there are amazing treats which come in handy when you are in desperate need of a quick fix. In fact, there are many aspartame-free sugarless gum products on the Australian market which taste like Heaven. Sugarless gum is great because it stimulates the flow of saliva, keeping the teeth clean. Besides that, the saliva generates minerals which assist with strengthening the tooth enamel, further reducing the risk of cavities and oral infections. It should be noted that only sugar-free chewing gum is beneficial for oral health. A lot of commercial brands feature sugary products which have the opposite effect and contribute to tooth decay.
4. Eat mindfully
A lot of us find it easy to stick to a healthy diet when at home, but as soon as vacation comes into play, things get a lot tougher. The reason for this is that when we go on holiday, we tend to change our regular eating habits. According to experts, people are usually more flexible in terms of dieting, and overindulgence is not uncommon. Even though everything is fine in moderation, all the sugar and processed food might cause more harm than you think. This is especially true if you are unable to stop snacking and brush your teeth when you are on the road. Instead, bring a couple of on-the-go snack options with you which are not only healthier but will actually keep you satisfied and full of energy. For example, baby carrots and a homemade trail mix is the perfect choice for a long road trip. If you are unable to make your own snacks, then look for healthier packaged alternatives at your local grocery store. Fortunately, Australian citizens have a wide array of fitness-oriented products available, so there are truly no excuses. Also, instead of coke, drink plenty of water to keep the mouth hydrated.
5. Visit your dentist first
One of the most important appointments everyone needs to keep is visiting the dentist every six months. If by chance you are due for an annual appointment right before taking the trip, then keep it simple and get it out of the way first. One of the reasons you want to do this is so you can rest assured that there will be no uncomfortable surprises concerning your dental health while you are away. A professional will inform you of the state of both your gums and teeth and the odds of things going wrong will be minimized. As a matter of fact, a lot of destinations all over the world do not have access to dental care, so it is best to visit your local doctor.
6. Pack a kit
Health conscious travelers know very well that the key to keeping a beaming smile is preparation. A handy dental kit in your backpack can truly be a lifesaver when you are on the road for a longer period of time. Nonetheless, how does one know what to include in a dental kit? Dental hygienists recommend packing the following essentials: a disposable toothbrush, miniature toothpaste (many drugstores sell travel-size ones), dental floss, and mouthwash. Also, are there children traveling with you as well? Thankfully, Australian families are able to find products which are suitable even for the youngest member of the family. When shopping for quality dental care products in Australia, make sure to look for trusted brands. For example, some of the best products have fluoride as the main ingredient. The reason why you should pick these products is that fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, and it prevents tooth decay. Another fantastic little tool you might enjoy adding to your dental kit is a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are especially helpful in the battle against bad breath because they scrape away all the harmful bacteria from the tongue. Of course, be careful not to use too much pressure and remember to rinse the tool when you are done.
7. Keep up your routine
Even though it is easy to give in to all the fun when traveling, it is mandatory to stick with a proper oral hygiene routine in order to stay healthy. If you do not have a regular routine, then interpret this as a sign to start taking care of your dental health right now! Dentists recommend brushing the teeth with fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice a day and flossing every night. For best results, it is advised to brush after every single meal. If you have kids on the road with you then encourage them to brush and floss as well. Keep in mind, if you stray from your regular dental routine while away from home, you might have a hard time returning to certain oral care habits when you return. In summary, by following some of these helpful tips and tricks, it is not difficult to keep your teeth healthy while traveling. The bottom line is, get organized, pack smart and have fun on your trip!