We rounded up tips to help you care for your teeth when traveling and avoid dental emergencies.
- See your dentist before leaving. This is essential, especially if you have existing dental work or dental procedures planned. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment at the last minute. You might need a follow-up, so leave enough time for all your dental visits.
- Pack your medicines. Bring extra medications and keep a soft copy of your dental prescription. A language barrier can make it tough to communicate your needs. And pharmacies may be out of reach. For your convenience, consider packing more than you need. Store them in different bags so you don't lose all when you lose one.
- Maintain your dental hygiene routine. This can be a tall order with a jam-packed (or even a relaxed) itinerary. It's easy to set aside or forget your dental care routine when you're out all day. But there are ways to keep plaque and tartar from building up if you can't brush and floss yet. Skip the carbonated or sweet beverage. And gargle with plain water after meals to dislodge debris.
- Use a well-ventilated dental pack. Use a dedicated container for your dental supplies so they don't get mixed with your other belongings and pick up dirt. Look for a quick-drying or ventilated bag, if possible. Wetness and moisture can attract harmful bacteria. Try to air dry your brush and dental tools after use. Keep toothbrushes separate from each other if packing for a group. Bring a spare brush, too, if traveling to an off-the-beaten-path destination.
- Take your mouthguard with you. Bring your custom mouthguard if you plan to take part in extreme sports or any outdoor activity. This tool protects your teeth from trauma or damage by dispersing force across the mouth. Unlike ready-to-wear mouthpieces, they’re specially made to feel comfortable. They fit snugly and stay in place even during physically enduring activity.
- Check if there are clean water sources. Clean water for brushing teeth isn't accessible in all areas. Find out if the local tap water is safe so you can purchase bottled water ahead of time. Don’t forget to rinse your brush thoroughly before storing it after use. If you can’t brush yet, a temporary solution is to swish your mouth with clean water.
- Limit intake of sweet and crunchy foods. Limit the intake of sugary, starchy, and pigmented foods. You don't have to say no to them, unless you have dietary restrictions. But avoid grazing all day. And be careful when indulging in hard or crunchy foods. A chipped, fractured, or broken tooth can be uncomfortable and require immediate treatment.
- Check dental office locations. Your dental team may be able to recommend dental offices in your travel destinations. Keep contact numbers somewhere easily accessible, as internet access may not be available. Research to see if any practitioner or clinic accepts your dental insurance.
You may be traveling, but your mouth won’t be taking a holiday. With enough preparation, your teeth can stay in great condition. You can prevent needing urgent dental care services.
Taking care of your teeth doesn't have to get in the way of you having a fun trip. If you need an oral exam and cleaning in Lethbridge, AB, before traveling, contact us at (403) 382-2273. We're happy to arrange a dental visit for you.