Whether your planning a relaxing or adventurous vacation your well-being is important while on holidays, but it’s easy to overlook some of your daily routines when you’re busy or distracted.
Your oral care never gets time off, and although a dental emergency can occur unexpectedly, a little preplanning can give you some peace of mind when travelling.
We have some easy tips on how to look after your dental wellbeing during your travels.
DENTAL VACATION TIPS FOR YOUR TEETH
Before you Travel
- Regular 6 month dental check up visits help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy and allow you to address any oral health issues before they become bigger, more complicated problems.
- There are pros and cons to starting any complicated dental treatment before you travel. Ensure you discuss any dental concerns with your dentist so that you can be prepared for any uncertainties. Most dental problems should be cleared up right away before they become emergencies, while many elective procedures can be postponed until your return. Understand however, that you should take care of problematic matters well ahead of time to prevent any post treatment issues that can possibly delay your vacation.
- It is not always possible to protect yourself against accidents, so if you require medical or dental treatment while on vacation ensure that you have received your Hepatitis B vaccination before you travel.
What to Pack
- Your routine oral care supplies – toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss.
- A clean, ventilated toothbrush container.
- Sugarless gum for when you may not be able to brush your teeth immediately after a meal. It helps to neutralize acids and increase saliva flow to wash away food debris.
- If you are bringing your electric toothbrush ensure that it is compatible with the power outlets at your destination or bring the correct adaptive device.
- Your night guard if you wear one.
- A dental sports guard to protect against accidental dental injuries.
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
- Denture adhesive and dental wax for small emergencies which are sold at most pharmacies (*See below)
Be prepared and plan ahead in case of a dental emergency!
- Call your dental insurer to find out if your policy covers dental treatment out of province. Know what your plan’s limitations are and what dental claim forms need to be submitted. Get extra coverage if need be.
- An internet search at home will help you find the name, telephone number, office hours and emergency contact of local dental clinics where you will be vacationing just in the need arises. Make sure you receive an itemized receipt and claim form before you leave their clinic.
- *Denture adhesive can be used to temporarily recement a loosened crown. Sugarless gum or dental wax can be placed over sharp tooth edges if you accidently chip or break a tooth.
- If you do require immediate attention, perhaps the attending dentist can offer a sufficient, temporary solution until you get home.
What to Avoid
- Do not use your teeth as tools to open packages, remove tags, uncap bottles, cracking open nuts, etc.
- Avoid using tap water to brush your teeth in countries where the quality of local water is questionable. Use bottled water or mouthwash to rinse your teeth and clean your toothbrush.
- Watch what you chew! Do not crunch on ice cubes. Avoid hard foods and candies. Be careful with bones, seeds, popcorn kernels and food that can easily get stuck between teeth. These are all practical suggestions, but they require your careful attention.
Remember to prepare if you have a long layover at an airport or other travel stops. Keep a small oral care travel case with you at all times. Each of our patients at Your Smile Dental Care receive one of these kits after their routine check-up visits. They often tell us just how handy they are when traveling, away at school or for when company visits.
We hope that with a little forethought your time spent away from the hustle and bustle of your daily routines will be full of happy smiles and great memories.
The Your Smile Dental Care Team