December 13, 2023
The holidays are a busy time of the year. If you plan to head out of town during the season, it’s easy to forget to brush before bed or skip flossing altogether. Even a few weeks of poor oral hygiene can lead to bad news the next time you see your dentist. As you pack your bags, here are 5 tips to keep your mouth healthy while traveling for the holidays.
1. Create a Travel Dental Kit
Whether you’re waiting at the airport or stopping by a gas station, a travel dental kit will make it easy and convenient to brush and floss while you’re on the go. Include a small soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Don’t forget to pack any cleaning products or any oral appliances.
2. Brush and Floss
You might snack more often while you’re traveling. Combined with the mouth-watering foods of the holidays, you’ll have an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. You can protect your smile by brushing your teeth after every meal for 2 minutes. Floss at least once a day to remove any buildup your toothbrush couldn’t reach.
3. Watch What You Eat
Candy canes, cookies, and stuffing are staples of the season, but they feed cavity-causing bacteria that can erode your enamel. Not to mention, you might grab a bite to eat at a drive-thru. Poor eating habits can add a few inches to your waistline and cause tooth decay. It’s important to watch what you eat. Limit sugars and starches. Choose healthy snacks, like fresh veggies.
4. Chew Sugarless Gum
If you can’t get to your toothbrush, chew a piece of sugar-free gum. Chewing increases saliva production, which will keep your mouth moist to combat oral bacteria growth. Saliva also rinses your mouth to keep it clean between brushing and flossing.
5. Schedule a Cleaning and Checkup
Visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup before you head out of town. Your dental hygienist will remove any buildup to ensure your pearly whites look their best. Your dentist will examine your mouth to look for anything concerning, like gum inflammation or a damaged filling. They’ll treat the issue to prevent a dental emergency from interrupting your travel plans.
While you enjoy the holidays, don’t forget about your dental health. You can keep your teeth and gums healthy by giving your mouth a little extra attention.
About Dr. Robert Heil
Dr. Heil earned his dental degree from the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, like conscious sedation, sleep apnea, and general dentistry. He is affiliated with the American Dental Association and many other professional organizations. Request an appointment through his website or call (920) 202-5273.
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