The excitement of vacations and trips during the holiday season can throw your daily dental care routine off track. However, diligent oral hygiene while on the go is crucial to avoiding dental disasters that could ruin your holiday fun. That’s why we’re sharing tips to help protect your smile while traveling this season. 

  • Come Prepared With a Complete Oral Hygiene Kit 

Pack a dedicated toiletry bag stocked with everything you need to stick to your dental care regimen. This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and any other oral hygiene tools you use at home like a water flosser. If traveling for an extended period, bring extra oral hygiene supplies to last your entire trip. Don’t forget to bring your retainer, if you have one, or your mouthguard.

  • Get a Professional Cleaning Before a Big Trip 

Schedule a thorough cleaning at your dentist’s office one to two weeks before any major holiday travel. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned removes built-up plaque and tartar that could contribute to cavities or gum inflammation. Plus, we can treat any concerning areas before they become a dental emergency while you’re away from home. Having that peace of mind will help you to enjoy the holidays!

  • Make Brushing and Flossing a Priority

Consistency with brushing and flossing is key for dental health, even while traveling. Brush your teeth thoroughly for two minutes at least twice per day. Floss daily before bedtime to clear out food debris. If you happen to be traveling with children, by maintaining your regular routine, you help them stick with theirs as well.

Plus, carry a travel-sized bottle of fluoride mouthwash or oral rinse. Swish after meals and sugary snacks to dislodge bits of food and bacteria that cause cavities. If you don’t have a rinse, drinking water helps too. 

  • Limit Sugar and Acidic Foods

Try to limit excessive sweet treats and acidic drinks, which take their toll on your tooth enamel. Indulge in nutritious snacks like hummus, Greek yogurt, cheese, vegetables, and fruit to satisfy cravings. If you decide to enjoy sweets, rinse right after to minimize damage. Also, avoid sticky candies like candy canes. They tend to increase your risk for cavities. 

  • Stay Properly Hydrated

Dehydration leads to dry mouth, raising your risk of cavities. Unfortunately, many people don’t think of drinking water while on vacation or traveling. So make it a point to drink plenty of water throughout your travels, especially on long flights. Cut down on alcohol consumption and limit how many caffeinated beverages you drink, as that can cause dehydration. 

  • Wear a Mouthguard for Sports

If you plan to ski, snowboard, skate, or play hockey or basketball on your trip, wear a protective mouthguard. We can fit you with a custom guard before traveling to prevent dental trauma. It will last longer than anything you purchase in the store and provide more complete protection.

  • Seek Dental Care Promptly if Needed

See a dentist right away if you experience tooth pain, chipped teeth, lost fillings, or other issues on your trip. Don’t delay necessary treatment until you get home. We encourage you to research your travel destination in advance before you leave for your trip. Knowing where to go in the case of an emergency is essential.

With smart planning and diligent oral hygiene habits, you can protect your smile while enjoying holiday trips and vacations. Come home with the same beautiful smile you left with by following these tips. Have a wonderful, cavity-free holiday season!

Need to schedule a visit? Call our office today at 206-922-4573 for an appointment or schedule online. We’re located on California Avenue Southwest, not far from Fairmount Park.