Whether it’s for business or just to escape a tedious routine, traveling every now and then can be very relaxing. Immersing oneself in the joy of a new location can offer an unparalleled sense of calmness and comfort. And yet, with a long trip planned, one can’t afford to lose sight of his or her oral hygiene. The mouth is a host of microbes; certainly one can’t plan to roam around without taking the necessary steps to protect their oral health. Here are a few possible hacks to apply during travel.
Oral health travel hacks:
Oil pulling is an ancient practice for maintaining oral health, though it remains effective today. If you’re stuck in a remote area, or if, for instance, you’re out of mouthwash or any other cleansing aid throughout your journey, you can consider oil pulling. Rinsing for about twenty minutes with your preferred oil, whether it be coconut, sesame, or any cold-pressed oil of your choice, can effectively wash away bacteria present in the mouth. Oil pulling also has detoxification properties, and can thus help detoxify the stomach.
Oil pulling can be considered for regular usage, just like brushing and flossing, if you want better results. It’s similar to mouthwash, but it has more natural elements. In fact, the side effects reported with mouthwash usage, like burning sensation and staining of teeth, aren’t seen with oil pulling. Instead, oil pulling even acts as a solution for those complaints. Just a spoon of oil is sufficient for effective cleansing. Pack a portable oil kit, not only for oral hygiene but also for a natural moisturizer, if you’d like.
Even though oil pulling can’t be considered an effective replacement for tooth brushing, it can definitely be a supplement oral hygiene aid. While traveling, if for whatever reason you aren’t able to brush your teeth, oil pulling is better than doing nothing.
Eat fiber-rich food
Eating raw fruits and vegetables while traveling will help to massage the gums and remove sticky items from the oral cavity. Fiber-rich food items are another effective teeth cleaning solution when you are out of cleaning aids.
Eating mindfully during travel, with raw fruits and vegetables, can protect your stomach from food poison. Above all, these foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, which can strengthen the tooth and gums, prevent periodontal disease, stimulate saliva and balance oral pH, protect the oral cavity, and refresh the mouth.
Drink plenty of water
Hydration is the best source for washing away plaque deposits. Drinking plain water has numerous health benefits, and in no way is oral care an exception in this. Hydration helps balance acid content, detox the body, eliminate unwanted waste deposited in the body, reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and stimulate overall energy.
If you can’t brush your teeth after every meal during travel, drinking plenty of water is an effective alternative. By balancing oral pH, and removing bacterial deposits, enough hydration helps to protect the teeth and gums from any triggering of a microbial attack, pain or abscess formation.
If your circumstances aren’t favorable in terms of accessing a hygienic water source, consider buying bottled water. It’s better to look for an alternative solution rather than leaving it unaddressed and putting your health at risk.
Scrape your tongue with a spoon
Cleaning your tongue is equally as important as cleaning your teeth. However, tongue scrapers are pretty large and not particularly convenient for packing in your travel kit. You can also use your toothbrush to do the scraping. This is a temporary solution; return to your usual cleansing aids once you return from your trip.
Cleaning the tongue is very important for eliminating bad breath and preventing germs from spreading to your teeth. The tongue has many crests and tufts, where germs can easily lodge and then multiply. During travel, while oral hygiene is already in a compromised position, it’s especially important to act carefully in order to protect it.
Carry portable oral hygiene kits
Buy travel-friendly oral cleansing kits. There are countless options available: portable electric or manual toothbrushes; water flossers; mini toothbrushes and flossers; travel-sized toothbrushes; mouthwash and small toothpaste tubes. In today’s trend, using electric toothbrush is a good idea especially if you have arthritis or any condition that makes it difficult to brush well. Buy separate sets for each of your family members and pack them in a zip-lock pouch or in small, see-through containers, labeling them with their names, for greater organization. Shop for what you need in a dental office, a local store, or online. Make a list of what you need and buy it all at once. You can also collect free travel products from hotels and airplanes.
Know your dentist
You can’t plan a trip without expecting any emergency situations such as dental implant surgery. This is also true for dental health. Anything could trigger tooth pain or discomfort. Because it’s more difficult to look for a solution in an unfamiliar place, it’s important to have your dentist’s contact number in hand for emergency situations. Inform your family dentist beforehand about your travel plans, and let him or her know that you are out of town and that you might require help at any time. Maybe your dentist can refer you to someone in your new location, specially if the dentist is for your kids, in this case, it is always recommend to go to a pediatric dental clinic instead of a general dentistry clinic.
Make your trip a tooth-friendly journey. Planning effectively can help you to avoid unnecessary trouble, allowing you to enjoy your vacation without worrying about your teeth. Have a safe journey.
Dr. Sonal Bhoot is the founder of Dental Expressions Lee’s Summit. Dr. Bhoot has over 15 years of dental experience and received her doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD) in 2003 from the New Jersey Dental School. Dr. Bhoot has certifications and proficiencies in cosmetic dentistry, CEREC training, Invisalign, endodontics, oral surgery, TMJ disorders, restorative dentistry, laser treatments, and more. She treats the whole family including children.