The summer holidays are almost here, so if you’ve started to think about what to pack, we’ve got some tips for you. Whether you’re packing shorts and t-shirts, or warm jackets and ski gear, you’ll need to include a few oral health essentials in your toiletry bag. For many of us, packing a toothbrush and remnants of a mostly used toothpaste tube check off the list for holiday mouth care. But it’s worth thinking about what else our teeth need, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing.
Packing your oral health essentials
Storing your toothbrush
- When choosing your toothbrush – Electric toothbrushes are the easiest and quickest way to get the cleanest possible teeth and gums. If you prefer a manual toothbrush, soft bristled, small headed toothbrushes are the best design features to clean all tooth surfaces. When used with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, plaque build-up and the risk of decay is reduced1.
- Storing your toothbrush – Keeping your toothbrush separate will help to avoid damage or contamination from your clothing and shoes. Toothbrush travel cases are the best way to transport and store toothbrushes when travelling. Make sure your toothbrush is dry before sealing the case to prevent bacteria from multiplying.
Everything else dental
- Pack dental floss, interdental brushes, tongue scrapers and mouthwash – Pack whatever cleaning aids you regularly use into your toiletries bag. It’s also a good idea to carry these in your day to day. Use zip-lock bags to separate items and store safely.
- Packing spares if you’re flying – while you’ll likely be able to access shops to purchase a new toothbrush, it’s also the last thing on most people mind as soon as they arrive. Packing a spare toothbrush and toothpaste in your hand luggage will be helpful to freshen up after your flight.
- On the plane- Many airlines provide toiletry kits which include a travel sized toothbrushes and toothpaste. These are a great alternative when flying but be mindful these aren’t meant to be long term toothbrushing substitutes.
- When to use bottled water– Use bottle water for brushing and rinsing if you’re unsure about the water quality where you’re travelling. Depending on your destination, not all tap water can be consumed so it’s better to be safe from the start.
5 Holiday tooth tips
- Book an appointment with your dentist for a check-up before you leave. Dental emergencies can happen at any time, but prevention through regular appointments helps to reduce the risk of unexpected problems. If a dental emergency occurs call early to secure a same day appointment at your nearest centre.
- Check your holiday insurance covers emergency dental care. Be aware that some travel insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
- Keep up your daily toothcare routine while you’re away. Brush at least twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily. Invest two minutes twice a day into brushing – it’s a small investment of time for the benefits you’ll get back.
- Remember that water is your friend. Keep a water bottle handy and try to keep sweet drinks such as juice, soft drinks and energy drinks as treats. Rinse your mouth with water after eating and drinking, especially after tea, coffee and red wine which can stain tooth enamel.
- Chew sugarless gum in-between brushing. This helps to increase saliva flow, reducing the risk of cavities.
If you’re planning on traveling or going away these holidays, Book an appointment with your dentist to ensure you have no underlying issues before you take off.