The summer holidays are almost here and if you’re planning a trip away, we’ve got some tips to help with your holiday packing. Whether you’re packing shorts and t-shirts, or warm jackets and ski gear, you’ll need to include a few oral health essentials in your toiletry bag. For many of us, packing a toothbrush and remnants of a mostly used toothpaste tube check off the list of holiday mouth care. But it’s worth thinking about what else our teeth need.
Packing your oral health essentials
All about your toothbrush
When choosing your toothbrush – Oscillating head, electric toothbrushes are the easiest and quickest way to get the cleanest possible teeth and gums. If you prefer a manual toothbrush, soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrushes are the best design features to clean all tooth surfaces. When used with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, plaque build-up and the risk of decay is reduced1.
Storing your toothbrush – Keeping your toothbrush separate will help to avoid damage or contamination from your clothing and shoes. A toothbrush travel case is the best way to transport and store your toothbrush when travelling. Make sure your toothbrush is dry before sealing the case to prevent bacteria from multiplying.
Everything else dental
Pack dental floss, interdental brushes, tongue scrapers, and mouthwash – Pack whatever cleaning aids you regularly use into your toiletries bag. It’s also a good idea to carry these in your day-to-day. Use zip-lock bags to separate items and store safely.
Packing spares if you’re flying – when arriving, brushing your teeth may likely be the last thing on your mind. Packing a spare toothbrush and toothpaste in your hand luggage will be helpful to freshen up easily when you arrive.
On the plane- Many international airlines provide toiletry kits which include a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste. These aren’t meant to be long-term toothbrushing substitutes but are a great alternative when flying.
When to use bottled water– Use bottled water for brushing and rinsing if you’re unsure about the water quality where you’re travelling. Depending on your destination, not all tap water can be consumed so it’s better to be safe from the start.
5 Holiday tooth tips
Book an appointment with your dentist for a check-up before you leave. Dental emergencies can happen at any time, but prevention through regular appointments helps to reduce the risk of unexpected problems. If a dental emergency occurs our Emergency Appointment Finder tool can help you locate an available dentist closest to your location.
Check your travel insurance covers emergency dental care. Be aware that some travel insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Keep up your daily oral health routine while you’re away. Brush at least twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily. Invest two minutes twice a day into brushing – it’s a small investment of time for the benefits you’ll get back.
Remember that water is your friend. Keep a water bottle handy and try to keep sweet drinks such as juice and soft drinks as treats. Rinse your mouth with water after eating and drinking, especially after tea, coffee, and red wine which can stain tooth enamel.
Chew sugarless gum in between brushing. This helps to increase saliva flow, reducing the risk of cavities.
If you’re planning on traveling or going away these holidays, be sure to Book an appointment with your dentist to ensure your oral health is in excellent condition before you take off.