When you are away from home, it can be easy to forget to keep up with your regular oral care routine. Be it due to laziness or lack of daily structure, being someplace aside from your own bathroom can cause you to fall behind on brushing, forget to floss, or forgo other parts of your normal oral hygiene regimen. Along with keeping up with oral care, there are other travel tips to note that will keep your oral health in check while you are vacationing or away from home. Follow these on-the-go guidelines and you will be in great shape when you’re not running through the usual day-to-day drill. Oral care is so important no matter where you are or what you’re doing, so don’t let your trip you up.
I forgot my toothbrush…now what?
Packing is always a challenge, and most of us tend to leave something behind…even the essentials. If you forgot to pack your toothbrush, there is no need to panic. If you are staying at a hotel, go to the front desk and simply ask for one. More likely than not they will have a complimentary one for you in a pinch. Same goes for toothpaste. If your hotel does not have a toothbrush for you to use, there is sure to be a convenience store, supermarket, or pharmacy nearby. To avoid this common oversight, purchase a few travel-sized toothbrushes and leave them in your luggage or carry-on bag for your next trip. Better safe than sorry. Even if you remember to bring along your toothbrush, there’s a good chance that someone you are traveling with forgot theirs. Help them out so they can maintain their oral care too.
Do I really need to floss while I am away? Can’t I skip it ‘til I return?
Flossing is an important part of oral health. It is not advisable to skip a week or even a few days…even when you are away. In fact, when you are vacationing, you are probably more likely to indulge in foods that you normally would not eat at home. Perhaps you will give in to sticky sweets or other fares that is far more likely to get lodged between teeth, which can lead to decay. It only takes a few moments to care for your mouth. Leave the floss by the sink and get in there at least once a day while you’re away. Pack some convenient floss picks in your bag to tend to teeth during the day as well. You never know when you’re going to need one.
My schedule is all over the place when I am traveling. What if I can’t brush and floss when I want/need to?
It makes sense that you will be on a completely different schedule when you are out of town. From sleeping in to sightseeing to late suppers, your run-of-the-mill routine will be reworked. It is not necessarily important to stick to the exact same schedule you do at home as long as you find time to tend to your teeth and gums – every day, at least twice a day. You should be able to brush when you wake up and before bedtime, no matter what those times maybe. Mid-day dental care is just as important, but chances are that you will miss out unless you pre-plan. Take along a small toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste in your handbag or backpack so you can brush after lunch or snacks. If you can’t find a place to get the job done discreetly, chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow to keep your mouth cleaner ‘till you are able to brush. An apple does the trick too.
Should I come into the office for a dental exam before traveling?
If you can plan ahead and schedule your general exam close to your departure date, it is a smart idea. If you have any cavities or other dental issues looming, you are best off taking care of this before heading out of town. If you require emergency care while far from home, there is no guarantee you will be able to see a dentist you can trust, one who accepts your insurance (particularly if you are traveling out of the country), or if there will be anyone available at all. You will be less worried about your oral health so you can focus on having fun.
When you are on-the-go, your teeth don’t know the difference. You may want to let loose or do things differently than you do normally, but the one thing to keep up with is oral care. It only takes a few minutes to go through the motions, so make it your mission to be good to your mouth. If you want to get an oral checkup before debarking on your trip, consider scheduling a cleaning with Lifetime Dental Health! Safe travels!
Conscientious choices from the start lead to overall satisfactory oral health. Your teeth and gums need to be taken care of, before something bothersome or bad happens. Gum disease can go on to become something far-reaching, potentially leading to issues as severe as heart disease. A smart and savvy patient is proactive, and with Dr. Barry on your side from the get-go, your mouth will be well-maintained and you will be better for it. Here is what you can expect when it comes to the preventative measures you can take…
How can I practice preventive care?
A great way to get on track is by coming in for a dental appointment for a general cleaning and complete oral examination. Your entire mouth will be carefully and thoroughly checked for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, weakening teeth, cavities, jaw functionality issues like TMJ, and more. You will even be screened for oral cancer. No area is left unlooked at or untreated. A full-service exam is always performed to protect you, offering peace of mind as well as preventative care.
How will the dentist clean my teeth better than I can at home?
Brushing and flossing at home is so important and daily upkeep is essential. But when you come into the office, you will get a deep clean you just can’t get with the average toothbrush. We get well beneath the gum line to remove unhealthy plaque as well as any food particles that may have gotten wedged in without your knowledge. Keeping these sensitive areas free of debris takes you one step closer to the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. But the part you will love most is that dazzling mega-watt smile!
Does preventative care include X-rays?
Yes. When you come in for a cleaning and oral exam, X-rays will be taken along with an exam performed with a high-tech cavity detecting laser – DIAGNOdent and an intra-oral camera. These devices can help us see more than the naked eye is capable of. Even the slightest first sign of something wrong can be addressed and tended to before time takes a toll. And we are pleased to provide our patients with digital X-rays, which reduce the amount of radiation by 90% compared to the “old-fashioned” kind. With these modern devices and all they can deliver, your dental appointments are more advanced than ever, making your preventative care even closer to perfect.
Will there be a fluoride treatment during the exam?
To tackle tooth decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) has determined there are positive benefits associated with the application of topical fluoride treatments in-office. You will receive a fluoride treatment every 3-6 months during your oral exam and cleaning. Thanks to these quick treatments, your teeth will be far stronger, cavities will be less likely to creep up, and those with tooth sensitivity may find relief.
Will the preventative dental exam include anything else?
Dr. Barry takes your entire overall health into consideration whenever you come in for an exam or procedure. During your oral exam, you can expect a blood pressure screening, directions for better brushing and more efficient flossing at home, and in-depth discussion about your oral health, including proper nutrition and perhaps the need for a nighttime bite splint if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at nighttime. She will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
How can my oral exam help prevent gum disease?
By scaling and root planning, we can get deep down to the surface of the root to eliminate unhealthy and damaging plaque and tartar, while clearing away bacteria and other toxins. With gum health kept in check, you will be less likely to develop gum disease that can lead to other physical problems elsewhere in the body if left untreated.
Depending on your age and the condition of your teeth, a dental sealant may be applied to the molars and premolars to prevent tooth decay and cavities. These teeth are treated due to the ridges, depressions, and grooves that make up their shape and structure. The thin plastic coating is brushed onto the surface of the teeth once they are prepped, then they are bonded in place with a special light. The process is quick and painless and can last up to ten years.
Preventative dentistry is the key to a healthy mouth. When you come in to Dr. Barry’s office, getting to the root of the issue before it causes pain and problems down the road is what we’re after. So, even when you are feeling fine, still remember schedule (and keep) your appointment and stay on top of your oral health. Prevention is a positive thing!