With just a few weeks of school left, many of our patients are making travel plans and dreaming of their favorite summertime hotspots. When your head is filled with images of sandy beaches and exotic destinations, it’s easy to overlook the more practical details.
Take oral hygiene, for example. Sudbury, MA dentist Dr. Janice Spada reminds you to leave room in your luggage for oral health essentials as you prepare for your upcoming trip.
It’s also a good idea to schedule a dental checkup before you go, especially if you plan to leave the country. Dr. Spada can identify potential problems before they have a chance to interfere with your vacation.
Must-Haves for Your Carry-on
Traveling by air? More so than adults, children are particularly susceptible to ear pain during takeoff and landing. Chewing gum helps alleviate discomfort and pressure during flight, making everyone’s experience more pleasant.
The American Dental Association recommends sugar-free gum that contains the sweetener Xylitol, which has proven cavity-fighting properties. Younger children can drink from a bottle or sippy cup to relieve the pressure, but it’s best to offer water instead of fruit juice.
Single-use toothbrushes that have a dollop of minty paste, such as Colgate Wisps, are useful on long flights. After eating your in-flight meal or nibbling complimentary peanuts, use the tiny brush for a burst of fresh breath, and to remove food from your teeth before it forms sticky plaque. Disposable flossers are helpful, too.
Don’t Forget These Away-from-Home Essentials
Instead of packing your toothbrush, purchase a new one to use for the duration of your trip. Choose an inexpensive brush that has soft or medium bristles, one that you can dispose of at the end of your vacation.
Most electric models hold a charge for several days, so you needn’t use up precious suitcase space by packing your charger unless you plan to travel for an extended period. If so, and if you are traveling outside of the country, you may need to pack a power adapter.
Over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, comes in handy for treating toothaches and sore teeth caused by wearing braces. Store the medication in its original bottle.
If you or someone in your family wears braces, pack orthodontic wax to protect gums and cheeks. Wax also works as a temporary fix for a chipped tooth.
Pack toothpaste and mouthwash in travel sizes, and don’t forget your dental floss. The smaller sizes are TSA-friendly and take up less space in your suitcase.
The same hygiene rules apply abroad: Brush twice daily, and floss at least once. We recommend storing these items in a clear zip-sealed bag—the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination with a suitcase full of minty residue.
How about a dental checkup before you go? To learn more about caring for teeth and gums on the go, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janice Spada, contact our Boston, MA dentist office at (978) 443-3111. We welcome patients living in Worcester, Sudbury, Framingham, Marlborough, and the surrounding areas.