Floss, what’s that? Oh, mouthwash! I thought you said Pina Colada.
I’m going to Costa Rica! I can’t wait to get there and floss! - said no one, ever. The fact is for many of us, daily oral hygiene practices take a hit while on vacation. And why not? Are you really going pass on taking that day long boat trip because you won’t be able to brush after lunch? Ah…no.
Tricks to help keep your mouth happy while on the road
1) Travel size mouth wash/ floss/ throw away toothbrush! If you can travel with your electric tooth brush (most come with travel cases!), more power to you! But if you want to keep your home supplies in place, and be able to throw everything away at the end of your stay to make room for more souvenirs… disposable oral health aids are the way to go! Most grocery stores and pharmacies carry travel sized products. Bring a few extras and keep them in your day packs. Be sure to get a soft bristle toothbrush to protect your gums, root surfaces and enamel!
2) Don’t have time to brush after enjoying lunch on the beach or in a rain forest? Eat a piece of cheese! Studies have shown that eating cheese after a meal can increase saliva production, preventing cavities from developing. Cheese also has compounds that adhere to the tooth surface which protects from acid.
3) Soft-pick after meals! I know I’d rather head out and seize the day rather than head back to the hotel room to floss… but who says you can’t walk the beach while getting breakfast out of your teeth! Soft-picks easily fit in your beach bag, wallet or pocket.
4) Set alarms! Whether you’re tech savvy and use apps to keep your schedule straight or jot down notes - having a reminder will help keep you on track when away from home.
5) Traveling with kids? Hold onto those electronic devices until they brush and floss! This also gives them a reason to look up and enjoy where they are 🙂
By Sara Jones, R.D.H.