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6 Oral Health Tips for Summer Vacation
Summer vacation is just around the corner. This is your time to relax, unwind, soak up some sunshine, and make memories with your loved ones. You want to come home with stories of beautiful beaches and delicious meals…not emergency dental surgery.
You may be on holiday, but your oral hygiene requirements are not. Consequently, it’s important to take steps to ensure optimal oral health during the summer vacation.
1. See your dentist before you leave for vacation
The last thing you want on vacation is a dental emergency. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to squeeze in a trip to the dentist before your actual trip.
Whether you’re leaving for a relaxing beach vacation or an epic trip to an adventurous destination, unexpected dental complications can ruin your best-made plans. You may think your teeth are fine; however, it’s impossible to know for certain without visiting your dentist.
Most dental issues do not cause any pain in the early stages. Your teeth may actually have cavities, chips, or cracks—and you would have no idea. These seemingly minor issues can quickly become big problems while on vacation. Oral pain is an easy way to wreck a perfectly good holiday.
By scheduling a checkup before leaving for your trip, you reduce the likelihood of an unexpected visit to a dentist in a foreign country. Your own dentist will look for any issues and administer appropriate restorative treatment.
2. Don’t forget your oral hygiene essentials
As you’re packing for your trip, make sure that all of your oral hygiene essentials are in your suitcase. You do not want to leave your toothbrush and toothpaste sitting on the counter in the bathroom.
What are your oral hygiene essentials? First, take a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard bristles can damage your enamel. You also need toothpaste, floss, and a small bottle of mouthwash. If you’re only travelling with a carry-on bag, then the toothpaste and mouthwash should be travel-sized (100 ml or less).
Mouthwash is one essential that’s easily forgotten. However, it’s incredibly handy to have on vacation. You can keep it with you throughout the day for a quick rinse after a meal, snack, or drink. The mouthwash flushes away some of the lingering residues, helping to reduce the likelihood of a cavity developing while you’re away.
3. Store your toothbrush properly while travelling
It’s important to store your toothbrush correctly while travelling. You should not simply toss your toothbrush into your luggage right before you leave. Suitcases are dark, damp places full of thriving bacteria that will attach themselves to your toothbrush. A bacteria-infested toothbrush transports those germs into your mouth, thus jeopardizing your oral health.
Fortunately, this is one problem that is easy to avoid. All you need is a closed container to store your toothbrush. You should also aim to keep your toothbrush as dry as possible. Once you get to your destination, let it air dry upright.
4. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is an essential part of your oral and overall health, no matter where you are! However, drinking enough water becomes even more important while you’re on vacation.
For many of us, our sugar consumption skyrockets during a holiday. Fizzy drinks, fancy cocktails, ice cream, and other sugary treats are a constant temptation. All that sugar, though, can wreak havoc on your mouth and lead to tooth decay.
Plus, it’s easy to get dehydrated as you enjoy your time in the sun. Drinking alcohol also dehydrates you. When dehydrated, your mouth cannot produce enough saliva to wash away plaque as it develops.
If there isn’t enough saliva in your mouth to flush leftover debris from food and beverages, bacteria flourish and cavities can form. The easiest way to prevent tooth decay on holiday is simply to stay hydrated.
5. Limit sugary food and beverages
This may seem like a tall order, but your teeth (and dentist) will thank you. Do your best to limit your sugar intake while on vacation. Sugary food and beverages promote bacteria growth in the mouth, causing plaque buildup, cavities, and tooth decay.
To limit the damage that all that sugar can do to your teeth, remember to brush and floss twice a day. Drink plenty of water, particularly after indulging in something sweet. Water (or mouthwash) washes away some of the lingering sugars, thus protecting your teeth.
Additionally, opt for local fruits instead of sweet treats. Summer brings a wide range of delicious, colourful, and irresistible fruits to enjoy, especially if you’re visiting somewhere tropical this summer! Fruits are high in sugar; however, they’re also high in fibre. This makes them a healthier choice. They’re also free of processed sugars that can harm your teeth and gums.
6. Be careful when eating hard foods
Sampling local cuisines and expanding your culinary boundaries is an exciting part of vacationing. However, your exploration of new flavours can be brought to a sudden and painful halt if you don’t pay attention to what you’re eating.
Hard foods can do immense damage to your teeth, especially if you’re not expecting to bite down on something hard. When trying new cuisines, eat carefully and chew slowly. You don’t want to chip or crack a tooth by biting down forcefully on something hard or crunchy.
Furthermore, do not chew on ice—no matter how high the temperatures get. Ice may seem like a safe way to cool down, but it can easily lead to a chipped tooth. Avoid chewing on the ice that comes with your beverages, or order something cool without ice.
Oral Health Services at Bloor West Smiles
Before you leave for vacation this summer, make sure that your oral health is as ready as you are. By visiting Bloor West Smiles for all your oral health services, you are preventing a potential overseas dental emergency. Our team of experienced dental professionals will check for cavities, cracks, chips, and similar issues during your checkup.
To learn more about oral health services in Bloor West, call Bloor West Smiles at 647-371-1407 or contact us here.