The return of the summer months brings about camping, amusement parks, and vacations. It also brings with it a plethora of ice cream, s’mores, and sweet summer treats. Going on vacation does not mean that oral health goes on vacation too. Simple steps can be taken to ensure that you and your family are all tending to your teeth.
While thinking of snacks for the family, thing not only healthy, but healthy and crunchy. Carrot and celery sticks are not only full of vitamins, but their texture simulates a brushing motion when they are chewed. Juices are a good choice to wash those down, but only those that have no added sugar. Keep in mind that many rest areas and gas stations have little that passes for healthy. By having snacks prepared and ready in a cooler, not only do healthy snacks stay an option, but it will save on travel expenses.
On extra-long trips, anything where the family will be stuck in a car for a couple days, it is wise to have scheduled brushing breaks. So, every time you pull over to stretch your legs or use a restroom, pull out the brushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Think about how morning breath develops… a warm, wet mouth which is a breeding ground for bacteria. The same thing happens in the car. Especially when snacks and beverages are used to help tame restless children.
Get a dental checkup before the trip. Even if it is a week or two before the trip, it gives you a chance to get a full cleaning and treat any unexpected dental problems. Getting one for every family member can help you have a trip which is safe from those tooth pains and more fun for everyone.
There are special toothbrushes which are designed for camping. They have a plastic lid and are available in many colors. Even better, they each come with a tube of paste. Because they are color coded, each family member will know which one is theirs. The lid keeps dirt and bacteria off of the brush and the family toothbrushes can be left at home where they won’t get lost or dirty. Some even have a hole for a clip. Most are available for a buck or two.
While you are away, assume it will not be easy to find a dentist if an emergency occurred. This means you should avoid opening packages with your teeth or crunching ice. These are bad practices anyway, but on vacation they can open you up to a whole world of pain. So avoid these at all costs.
Do not vacation on the health of your mouth. Unlike sharks, we only get one row of teeth. Once the adult teeth are gone, they are gone for good. When in doubt, brush, rinse, and/or floss and have your family do the same. This will keep teeth healthy, now and in the future, which means you will be free to enjoy all the road trips to come.
Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai