Your Oral Health on Vacation

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When you’re preparing for a vacation, it's important to keep your oral health top of mind. Maintaining good oral health-care routines is something you should do at all times, whether you are staying at home or heading out of town.

Here are some oral health-related tips to check off your list (and keep on top of mind) when you’re on vacation.

Your toothbrush – don’t leave home without it!

It is important to stick to your routine – continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. Carry travel-size packets of floss or dental picks in your purse or pocket that you can use if you’ll be out for most of the day. If you're travelling, a collapsible toothbrush and a roll of floss fit nicely into your purse or carry-on luggage. If you will be away from home for more than one day, pack a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. If you have a cottage, stock up on toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste for the season.

Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Toothbrushes should also be discarded when the bristles look worn and bent, or after a cold or illness.

See your dentist

Book a dental exam well before your vacation. Your dentist can detect problems before you may experience any symptoms and any necessary treatment can be taken care of before you leave.

If you plan on participating in any sport or activity where there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces – soccer, racquetball, in-line skating – talk to your dentist about a mouthguard.  Mouthguards not only protect the teeth. They may also prevent serious injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw and teeth are forced up against the upper teeth and jaw.

Be prepared

Do your research before your trip on dental care available in the area where you will be staying. Get the contact information for local dentists and phone ahead for information on office hours. This will save you precious time in case of a dental emergency.

Eat healthy

Indulging in sweet and sticky foods while on vacation can be fun, but try to minimize the amount you consume. Stick to fruits and vegetables as they contain the essential vitamins and minerals our teeth and gums need to stay strong and healthy.

Drink plenty of water – it the best way to stay hydrated, no matter if you’re sitting on a beach or being active on the slopes.

Watch your mouth

Moderate exposure to sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D, used by the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous helping to keep teeth and bones strong. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can increase your risk of cancers, specifically to the lips and mouth. When applying sunscreen, don't forget your lips – use lip balm that contains protection again UVA/UVB rays.

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