I suck at two things in life: showering daily and brushing my teeth twice a day. Wow, that sounds a lot worse once it's written down. While I am still a strong believer in skipping a shower day (or two... or three - um, advocate for saving water?) I do understand the importance of dental care, and have made much more of an effort to prioritize my oral health while on the road.
I freelance write for a dental company in the UK (Beam Ortho) and wrote this article on vacation-friendly dental care. You might find it super useful, so here are 6 things you should do to ensure proper dental care when you travel:
Wash your cases
It’s alarming how many of us forget to wash our travel case after each trip! With each use, our case becomes more and more contaminated with debris and bacteria. Be sure to wash and dry your toiletry and toothbrush case if you are going to use it when traveling.
Dry your toothbrush
Just as you should not forget to clean your case, it is important to pay close attention to the health of the toothbrush itself, as well. On travel days, brushing is often left to the last minute in haste, and a wet toothbrush gets tossed into the toiletry bag for another day. Unfortunately, storing your toothbrush while still wet makes it a gold mine for bacteria! Instead, try shaking out the brush before storing and, once you’ve arrived at your destination, immediately place it in a cup, standing upright so the water drips away from the bristles.
Nix the toothpaste
Depending on the length of your trip, transit time may be long and you might not have access to water for a quick brush. That’s okay – forget the toothpaste. Even dry brushing is better than none at all, as it still removes tartar and plaque, and can even help you see which teeth need extra brushing without having a layer of foaming toothpaste obstructing your view.
Know the water
It may be your natural inclination to brush your teeth at the bathroom sink, but remember: if you are in a country that doesn’t have safe drinking water, you should steer clear of brushing with it, as well. Keep bottled water nearby for any rinsing needed.
One of the hardest things about remembering to brush, floss and rinse while traveling is that sometimes you are just too tired (I know I am). After hours of traveling or a long night out, the worst feeling is finally getting into bed only to remember you forgot to brush your teeth. To avoid this, keep your toothbrush in a place you’ll be most likely to notice it (while you are still standing). Do you wear contact lenses? Keep your toothbrush right by your case and solution. What about cosmetics? You might want to keep your toothbrush right by your makeup remover. This way, whenever you go about your daily routine, your toothbrush will easily tag along.
Set an alarm
When all else fails, set an alarm. If you’re tied to your mobile phone or laptop, it is easy to schedule an alert for a time that’ll be convenient to brush up. You might find setting an alarm for TV commercial breaks or down time work best, as you won’t have a reason to hit the snooze button.
Hope this helps!
Enjoy exploring but don't forget about your health.