Make Time for a Check-up Before Travel
The best way to avoid unexpected dental problems when you travel is to prevent them before the happen. Establish a relationship with your dentist and have an open conversation about any of your risks. If you can, schedule your next regular visit a few weeks before a trip, leaving enough time to have any issues taken care of before you depart. A thorough exam with your dentist can help spot any potential problems, and make sure they are addressed. You’ll have peace of mind, and your dentist will have the most up-to-date information on your teeth, including x-rays.
In Case of Emergency…
Have your dentist’s contact information handy in your cell phone or keep a business card in your wallet. As a patient, it is hard to know the difference between something that needs to be treated right away and something that can wait for some more time, this is where a doctor can help. If you have kept up regular visits with your dentist and they have a full record of your health history, they may be able to provide insight over the phone, and may be able to provide better support to help you decide how to address it until you can see a dentist locally or until your trip is over.
In Case of Emergency Overseas…
If you are traveling out of the country and absolutely in need of a dentist, get in touch with the local consulate or U.S. embassy or your hotel concierge. If you have travel insurance, they may be able to help you find a local dentist. Even google and getting information about the nearest dentist would be recommended.
Forget Your Toothbrush?
If you find yourself temporarily without a toothbrush, you can rinse vigorously with water to wash away some of that cavity-causing bacteria. You could also put some toothpaste on a clean washcloth or your clean finger in a pinch. When you finally get to the nearest drugstore, look for a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If there aren’t any Seal products, buy the softest brush you can find.
Proper Toothbrush Transport
Letting your toothbrush air dry is the best way to keep your toothbrush clean at home, but that’s not always possible on vacation. What’s a traveling toothbrush to do? Keep your toothbrush clean and out of contact with other things in your vacation luggage. Use a clean toothbrush case, or a resalable bag to keep your toothbrush separate from everything else in your luggage. If you use a sealed bag, when you get to your destination, pop it open and let your brush air dry.
Pack an ADA-Accepted Pack of Gum
Chewing sugarless gum can help relieve ear pressure during a flight and help keep cavities at bay on vacay. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent cavities. That’s because it gets saliva flowing, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Sugarless gum with the ADA Seal is guaranteed to do the trick.
When in Doubt, Brush with Bottled Water
If you are in a country where the water supply is compromised – or you’re on a wilderness adventure but aren’t sure how clean the stream is – always use bottled water to brush. What happens if you accidentally get local water on your toothbrush? If the local water is not safe to drink, get a new toothbrush if possible. Otherwise, rinse your brush thoroughly with clean drinkable water.
Get Back on Track After Your Trip
If you have not followed your schedule of brushing and flossing while away, or if your vacation involved indulging in too many sweets don’t worry. The best solution is to jump back into your regular routine as soon as possible when you get home. “Just get back on your normal routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing when you get home.