With the invention of the airplane and the improvements on commercial flights, there are more people than ever traveling to different parts of the world. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, almost 2.6 million people fly in and out of airports in the United States every day. Some people travel a lot for fun. However, there are others who are always on the go because of their profession.
While more and more people are more mindful about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, things get more difficult once you start traveling. For some, it’s time to put #cheatday into effect. Sure, this kind of mindset is usually meant for food, but it can also come into play with some of our routine activities. There are many instances when connecting flights can stop you from taking care of some of the things you normally do when you’re at home.
For instance, if you’ve been traveling for 24 hours, you might have to pass on showering during that time. That’s not because you don’t want to. Sometimes there are just no facilities at the airport that can let you do that. And if you think those cleansing wipes work? They can really only help mask things, not thoroughly clean you. So if showering is something that one can pass on, there’s a good chance that oral health can fall to the wayside, too. Although some of you reading this might be wondering how anyone could miss brushing their teeth when they’re on the go, it can happen. But don’t worry; we are here to help you out.
In this article, we will be looking at what you can do to maintain good dental hygiene while you travel:
Bring the Right Tools
Let’s start with the basics. Before you can actually get to cleaning your teeth, you will need to get the right tools for it. While that means a toothbrush and some toothpaste, some people have a more robust oral care process. Or sometimes a basic toothbrush doesn’t cut it for them, and they opt for an electric toothbrush. If you’re someone who loves a good electric toothbrush, then you know how it can sometimes be hard to bring the one you have at home with you on your travels.
For anyone who’s in that boat, don’t worry. There are lots of options for travel-friendly electric toothbrushes on the market. Quip has been one of the more recent popular brands, but there are also more well-known brands like Oral-B that have a range of brushes. The Oral-B Pro 1000 is one of the brand’s higher-end models that will run you about $40. However, they also have the Oral-B Pro-Health Anti-Microbial brush that runs on a battery, but you will need to replace it as opposed to charging it. For ones that are rechargeable don’t forget to bring your travel adapter – you’ll realize the importance of this the one time you forget and your electric toothbrush is no longer electric!
But it’s not limited to just toothbrushes. In the next section, we will look at other oral care products that you can take on your trip. We will also show you how to keep your teeth healthy while traveling with these products.
Now that we’ve looked at toothbrushes, let’s talk about other things that keep up your dental hygiene while you travel. Although there are disposable toothbrushes like the Colgate Wisp Optic White Cool Mint mini brushes, these are for quick fixes and are better at keeping your breath fresh in a pinch. However, they aren’t necessarily the best substitute for the actual act of brushing and flossing your teeth.
So you will definitely need to keep a travel-size tube of toothpaste and some floss in your toiletries bag. Since everyone tends to be partial to their own brands, we won’t get into the nitty-gritty of it here. However, it’s good to note that many of your favorite types of toothpaste within a brand will likely have a travel-friendly version on the market. If you can’t find it at the store, you can check Amazon for travel toothpaste. And it’s likely the product will be there as long as it’s still in production. When it comes to floss, you don’t have to go with a travel-size container of it. However, if you feel that the normal-sized container is just too big for your packing situation, then there are numerous options to get a small version of your favorite brand. You can also grab a bag of floss picks, which are like a toothpick and floss in one. And when you’re done using one of them, you can actually toss it into the trash.
If you have some time in the restroom before flights and don’t mind gargling in public, you can also toss a mini version of mouthwash in there, too. Just like toothpaste, there are a variety of different types of mouthwash on the market that caters to different oral care needs.
Taking Care of Your Tools
Aside from acquiring the right tools to keep up with dental hygiene while traveling, it’s also good to know how to keep them in shape. Using toothbrushes once and then tossing them can get pretty expensive over time, especially if it’s something like an electric toothbrush. If you take a manual toothbrush with you on the road, then it’s a good practice to replace it every twoto three months, depending on how much you use it. If you’re constantly traveling, then you should make it a habit to replace it during that time. However, if you don’t, then it could last a little longer.
The same goes for the electric toothbrush. The brush heads on electric models have the same shelf life as the manual toothbrushes, and now you can purchase brush heads in bulk. That way you don’t need to keep going to the store or ordering them online. You can also purchase cases for the brush portion of your toothbrush. They can be as simple as a plastic cover or as fancy as something that has a built-in sanitizing feature.
In addition to protecting the brush head, electric toothbrushes also need a good wipedown after use. To prevent any toothpaste grit and film getting into the mechanics of the device, you should make sure to wipe it down with a wet cloth. Then after all the dirt is off, you should wipe it with a dry one so no moisture is left on the electric toothbrush.
Alternatives to Brushing
Sometimes you can’t actually get a brushing session in between flights. Or maybe you’re not a big fan of taking care of your teeth in public. If you fall into one of these categories, then you can try a few other things to keep your mouth feeling fresh. We mentioned that having a mini bottle of mouthwash is a good and quick solution to avoid bad breath. Depending on the brand you pick up, there are some that can get rid of a solid amount of the germs and bacteria in your mouth.
You can also chew gum. Assuming you’re a silent chewer, there are types of gum that aren’t going to ruin your teeth.
And it’s been known that chewing gum can help you avoid getting airplane ear. Airplane ear is stress exerted on your eardrum and other middle ear tissues when the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are out of balance. It feels like your ear is clogged.
Seeing the Dentist While Traveling
If you’re traveling for long periods of time, it would be good to invest in travel insurance. Since there are many countries that don’t offer healthcare for free to non-citizens, this is a good way to prepare for any kind of emergency. And that way, you won’t be shelling out a lot of money to make yourself feel better.
If you’re already traveling and have a dental emergency like a toothache or something much worse, then you can ask your hotel concierge for some help. Sometimes your country’s consulate has a list of services to reach out to. You can also reach out to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. This is a great resource to find a health or dental professional in your area who can help you.
Brushing your teeth may have been something people have been doing since they were kids. But sometimes life gets in the way, and you just can’t get it done. And that can happen while you are traveling. If that’s the case, then hopefully the tips above are a great way to plan your dental hygiene while traveling. Or perhaps it can get you to plan out a better oral care plan that will ensure the health of your teeth. No matter what course of action you choose to take, knowing how to keep your teeth healthy while traveling should never be something you push under the rug.