Are you heading overseas for Christmas or New Year? Whether you're at home or abroad, bacteria in plaque don't take time off, so it's important to keep up with your oral hygiene routine when you're away.
Follow these tooth-friendly travel tips to make sure you don't neglect your oral health and lower the risk of dental problems spoiling your holiday.
You can usually pick up a new toothbrush with no trouble when you arrive at your destination, but taking your own brush along is the easiest way to avoid problems. After all, you might arrive after the shops have closed, there might not be any stores around, or they might not stock the type of toothbrush you prefer.
If you've been using your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head for longer than three months, replace it before you travel. Keep it isolated from your other belongings during transport by sealing it in plastic wrap, then let it air dry in the bathroom once you arrive.
If you're travelling to a country where the tap water is safe to drink, you can rinse your toothbrush using the tap, like you would back home. If the local water supply contains fluoride, you'll continue to benefit from the extra protection to your teeth when brushing and drinking.
However, water in most of the world is not safe to drink, especially in remote areas or developing countries. Make sure you always have sealed bottled water on you to stay hydrated and avoid developing a sickness that could ruin your trip, as well as exposing your teeth to harmful stomach acid.
Unless you're travelling to Singapore – where it's illegal – chewing gum is widely available in most countries and can help to clean your teeth after meals by stimulating saliva production as you chew. This can rinse plaque and acids off your teeth to lower the risk of decay.
Make sure the gum is sugar free though, or you'll negate the benefit!
If you're due for a check-up and clean while you're away, or shortly after you return, it's a good idea to ask your dentist if you can move your appointment forwards. That way, you can get a clean bill of dental health or take care of any outstanding problems before your trip.
You should keep your dentist's contact information handy in case you need advice while you're away and want to speak to someone your trust. Many dental emergencies can be sorted over the phone with a dentist's advice, which could save you worry and the trouble and expense of dealing with overseas dentists.
If you're due for a check-up, you want some advice or you need to talk to a dentist for any other reason, get in touch with our team at Sydney CBD Dental today.
Call us on (02) 9232 3900 or make an appointment at our dental clinic at 300 George Street.
American Dental Association. 8 Travel Tips for Your Teeth [Online] 2016 [Accessed November 2019] Available from: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/travel-tips
Australian Dental Association. Dental Tourism [Online] 2016 [Accessed November 2019] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Dental-Tourism