Summer is almost here, and it’s time to look forward to that family vacation. You might be planning a road trip to visit a bunch of national parks or heading toward your delightfully rustic lakeside cabin. Whatever kind of vacation you are looking forward to, it’s important not to forget about your family’s oral health while you are no longer in your familiar home. Here are some ways to keep teeth healthy while on vacation:
1. Have a Checkup Before You Go
A toothache can turn a relaxing holiday into a miserable time, so it’s best to avoid having to deal with one. If checkups are on your calendar for you and your family members, don’t delay them until after your vacation. Attending to any dental problems before setting off will avoid the necessity to find a dentist at your destination.
2. Stick to Those Daily Habits
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean taking a vacation from regular brushing and flossing. Remember to pack toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss for everyone in the family. If you’re trying not to overpack, there are travel-sized items available. And, if you suddenly realize you’ve forgotten your kid’s toothbrush, you can always pick one up from a corner store.
3. Chew Sugarless Gum
If you are planning to fly, you might want to chew on something during takeoff and landing to relieve that annoying and sometimes painful ear pressure. If so, make sure that you aren’t causing damage to your teeth with sugary gum. Exposure to sugar can lead to tooth decay – so toss a pack of sugarless gum or candy into your carry-on bag.
4. Drink Clean Water
If your vacation will take place overseas, be aware of the safety of your drinking water, especially if you are traveling in a third-world country. In some foreign locales, it is recommended to drink bottled water. If this is the case, then you should also brush your teeth with bottled water. And, be careful not to run your toothbrush under the tap after you are done brushing.
5. Wear a Mouthguard
If family members are planning to participate in contact sports or any other activities with an element of danger (e.g., rock climbing), a mouthguard will protect them against accidents such as knocked-out teeth or a broken jaw.
6. Hang on to Your Receipts
Check your dental plan if you’re traveling abroad – you may be able to get out-of-network coverage for emergency dental treatment. If this is the case, you could be entitled to receive full or partial reimbursement for covered procedures. Just make sure to obtain a detailed receipt from any dentist that you have visited.
If there Is an Emergency
If you pay attention to keeping your teeth healthy while on vacation, you will be helping to ensure that everyone will have a good time. However, if you have any kind of dental emergency while you are on vacation, don’t hesitate to call Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry for advice. We are more than happy to offer recommendations if immediate treatment is necessary, and we might even be able to provide referrals in the area you are visiting.