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Taking Good Care of Your Smile on Summer Vacations

Maybe You are hitting the road for a weekend getaway or jet-setting overseas, summer vacations are a perfect time to relax and recharge. It’s Vital not to neglect your oral health routines while soaking up some sun. Changes in environment, diet, and schedule can put your smile at risk if proper precautions aren’t taken. 

As your trusted dental professionals, we want to ensure you return home with your pearly whites intact and feeling refreshed. Read on for our top tips on taking good care of your teeth and gums while traveling this season. 

Pre-Vacation Checkup

Before embarking on any lengthy trip, it’s a good idea to schedule a dental cleaning and exam. This allows our hygienists to remove built-up plaque and tartar that brushing may miss. 

The dentist can also evaluate your oral health, catch early signs of cavities or gum disease, and address any issues. This pre-departure check-up ensures your mouth is in its best condition to face the potential new risks on the road. It also gives you peace of mind that any existing dental work is stable and performing well.

Pack Smart

When packing for your vacation, be sure to include essentials for dental hygiene. Compact toothbrushes, floss, antimicrobial mouthwash, and a comfortable yet effective interdental cleaner all fit easily into a toiletry bag. Consider purchasing mini-paste tubes that won’t leak if luggage is mishandled. 

Also, stash travel-friendly options like white strips or a teeth-whitening pen if you want whiter teeth as a return gift. Speaking of liquids, pack any needed medications in your carry-on in case baggage is delayed.

Stay Hydrated

Climate changes, increased time in the sun, and indulging in new flavors call for optimal hydration. However, bottled water isn’t always accessible during vacations abroad. To stay sated safely:

– Purify the tap using a filter or boil it vigorously for one minute before drinking

– Order beverages like coffee, soda, or juice without ice to avoid potentially contaminated melting cubes 

– Eat fresh fruits with high water content like watermelon, cucumbers, and leafy greens 

Keeping well-hydrated helps stimulate saliva flow which in turn provides a natural barrier on teeth. Just be sure to rinse your mouth well with bottled water afterward if consuming drinks with sugar.

Practice Good Food Hygiene

New adventures often include diving into regional cuisines. But be aware some dishes come with potential dangers to dental health if not eaten or prepared properly. For example:

– Acidic fruits popular in many destinations can stain enamel if consumed excessively 

– Raw sugarcane is a classic treat in many tropical locales which needs proper chewing to avoid broken or cracked teeth 

– Raw or undercooked fish and meat can harbor parasites leading to infections

When trying local specialties, focus on eating small amounts and swishing water between bites as well as thoroughly cooking proteins. Beverages with lime or fruit juices should likewise be swished and spit rather than swallowed to avoid prolonged exposure to acids. After large meals, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid erosive toothbrush abrasion.

Manage Jet Lag and Stress

Changes to diet, environment, and sleep schedules associated with jet travel can disrupt circadian rhythms. Some effects extend beyond initial airport disembarkation too like:

– Dry mouth from breathing through the mouth during naps 

– Teeth grinding or clenching at night due to stress and changes in surroundings 

– Craving calorie-dense or sugary comfort foods as energy levels fluctuate

Do what you can to maintain routine by exposing yourself to natural light, staying hydrated, and scheduling downtime for relaxation. If teeth grinding is an issue, bring a night guard. Stress has also been linked to periodontal disease, so take deep breaths and make self-care a priority even while away from home. 

When in Doubt, See a Local Dentist 

If oral discomfort arises or you experience an injury, visit a dental practice. Ask your hotel for recommendations or search online for one accredited by the host country’s dental licensing authority. Have them address urgent treatment or prescribe antibiotics for infections while confirming what you can manage without assistance upon return. Translation apps may aid communication if fluency differs.

Make your dental destination just as much of a priority as seeing famous sites. After all, you want your million-dollar smiles intact to continue making lifelong happy memories! With these preventative habits, your oral health is set for a vacation full of relaxation and summer fun in the sun. We’ll see you when you’re home refreshed for a quick check-in. Safe travels!

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