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Tips for Caring for Your Teeth While Traveling

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With summer in full swing, it can be challenging to stay on top of your oral health care routine. Between vacation getaways, extra treats, and busy summer schedules, it’s easy to let things like regular brushing, flossing, and checkups take a back seat to fun.

Unfortunately, a few months of inattention can significantly impact your teeth and gums. To avoid a nasty surprise during your next dental cleaning, it’s crucial to maintain your oral hygiene even while enjoying some summertime R and R.

Why Brushing and Flossing Never Take an off Day

Plaque-causing bacteria can start to calcify in as little as a few days; within a week, it can become so hard that only professional dental scaling in Toronto can remove it. Left untreated, this buildup of plaque and tartar will begin to irritate and inflame the gums, eventually leading to early-stage gum disease.

Early-stage gum disease, more commonly referred to as gingivitis, is quite common, affecting some 80% of Canadians at some point throughout their lives. At this early stage, gum disease is manageable and may not leave any lasting damage. However, gum disease progresses quickly, and what may have been mild in the beginning can rapidly become much more severe. Consequences of later-stage gum disease may include permanent gum recession, loosening of teeth, and even bone loss.

Summer Dental Care Checklist

You can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, even while traveling, by sticking to the same routine you would practice at home. Here are five tips to make year-round oral hygiene easier for everyone.

Checkup Before Travel

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup or dental scaling, make an appointment with your Toronto area dentist before getting swept away in a summer activity.

Pack a Travel Brush

So, most people wouldn’t dream of traveling without their toothbrushes, but did you know there’s a right and wrong way to pack one? Thrown in with your toiletries or tucked away in a plastic bag are great examples of how not to pack a toothbrush. This type of humid environment creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Instead, pack your brush in a toothbrush holder with ventilation.

Bring Your (Oral Hygiene) Accessories

It’s not only your brush you need on the road; flossing and mouthwash remain as necessary while traveling as they are at home. To keep everything you need handy, consider investing in travel-sized toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. Leave it all in a go bag, and you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your oral hygiene essentials.

Let it Dry

Even in a ventilated holder, excess moisture can lead to bacterial growth. When possible, give your brush time to dry before packing it back up; if you’re moving between destinations, try to leave your brush out when stopping for the night.

If You Wouldn’t Drink It, Don’t Brush with It

Not all vacation destinations have access to potable water. For example, if you are camping or visiting an area where tap water isn’t drinkable, you need to have fresh water available for drinking and brushing your teeth. A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t brush your teeth with it.

Bring (Sugar-Free) Gum

You read that right. Chewing gum can help remove food particles and neutralize bacteria. The only caveat, however, is that it needs to be the sugar-free kind.

With a little planning, practicing good oral health can be a part of your vacation fun!