It’s that time of year when the warmer weather creates a strong desire to be outdoors. For many families, this means taking to the open highway to visit faraway relatives or cozy campgrounds. Whatever your summer plans may include, we are fairly certain of one thing: your normal routine will be disrupted, at least for a few days.
Summertime travels take us to exciting places. These trips also create a bit of confusion as to what to eat and how to manage oral health. To be honest, there is probably no confusion at all; there is most likely very little thought that goes into how to avoid dental dangers when on vacation. We can’t blame anyone for falling off the oral care wagon on a fun trip across the state, or across the country! What we can do is remind you of just how easy it is to feed your body, and your mouth, well when you are away from home.
- Pack fresh-grown treats. The more fresh, crunchy foods that you can take with you on vacation, or even a day out and about, the better. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, can decrease the inherent craving for chips, pretzels, and other packaged foods. Why go to the trouble? First, an apple or bowl of watermelon is more satisfying than that Slurpee. Second, the crunch of that celery or cauliflower is cleaning your teeth while satisfying your need to nosh.
- Take bottled water. A stash of bottled water can get you through a long day by maintaining saliva flow and by washing away food debris. There is no better drink for your teeth than water because the pH balance, or acidity, of this beverage, is neutral. Other common beverages, including coffee, tea, and soda, are acidic enough to pose a risk of erosion.
- Take the tools you will need. It’s interesting how, for the most part, we can get through the average day at home or work without needing to freshen up. And yet, we hop in the car or on a plane and, after several hours, just wish for a huge tub of mints. The accumulation of bacteria at the back of the mouth that leads to bad breath can be easily countered. All it takes is a bit of mouthwash, which you can find in a travel-sized bottle and a toothbrush. If you’re really serious about staying clean, pack a roll of floss, too.