Traveling is one of the most fulfilling experiences a person can have. Meeting new and interesting people, seeing new places, becoming (for a short while) part of a foreign culture – all these things make traveling to a foreign country a must for anybody who has the opportunity to do so. However, often people forget about regular healthy habits that they have at home. One of these is oral hygiene.
Nobody would contest the fact that dental hygiene is important. However, when we travel, we escape our old lives, at least for a time, and with it, we tend to neglect some old habits (both good and bad). Keeping your teeth clean and your gums healthy is just as important abroad as it is at home.
Schedule an appointment first
Properly planning your trip abroad is a must if you want to make the most out of your travels. So we all know the basics – passport, vaccines, health insurance, emergency cash… However, what many fail to do, and what is especially important for long trips, is meeting up with your dentist before you go. The last thing you need on your trip is finding out you need a root canal.
Getting emergency dental work done in a foreign country can be very expensive and time-consuming. The recovery period can take away from time you could have spent visiting museums or trying out delicious food. Furthermore, if you are the adventurous type, and decided to visit some more exotic and foreign countries, you may end up in an area where you simply have no access to a dentist that can help you out.
Stock up on supplies
We all know you need to have the proper supplies when traveling. What many fail to do, however, is bring a toothbrush and toothpaste. Or, sometimes people get the cheapest airport toothbrushes they can get their hands on. These things are pretty much useless after a week of use, and even before that, they are often much rougher than regular toothbrushes.
Getting the right products, like the high-quality First Choice floss, a high-quality toothbrush (even an electric one), as well as good whitening toothpaste is the way to go. You may end up in an area where you can’t really find good dental supplies, or you may just want to avoid losing valuable time shopping for basic supplies.
Plan for the worst
Staying safe when traveling, especially in high-risk countries, is paramount. You need to have proper insurance and always keep an eye on your things. You should also do your homework and see what the area is like, which streets and neighborhoods you can visit, and which you should avoid. Don’t be fooled, one location in the more dangerous countries can be perfectly safe during the day, and may end up a place you want to avoid when night falls.
In line with this point, you should also research and see if there are any dentists in the area where you are going. You may end up having a toothache that can ruin your trip if not dealt with immediately. This is especially important if you have vulnerable teeth.
So, make a list of dentist offices in the place you are traveling to, compare their prices (just so you won’t get ripped off), and always do your homework.
Watch your diet
We travel to relax and to have new experiences. This often shifts our focus away from taking care of our bodies, and basically eating whatever we want. Things get even worse when we want to try every single delicacy that is offered to us, and we don’t really have a choice but to only eat out. This can, for obvious reasons, mess with your teeth.
Try to minimize the amount of sugar you eat when you’re traveling. We understand that this may be the only opportunity you will get to try a special local desert, but at least try to keep everything in moderation as much as you can. But, sugar isn’t the only culprit. Acidic foods (stuff filled with things like lemons and oranges) can also damage your teeth. Still, know that as long as you clean your teeth regularly and avoid binging on sweets, you will be fine.
If you wish to travel, you want to be as free and as loose as possible. Furthermore, you want to invest as much time as you can into having fun. That’s why things like a toothache and bleeding gums will just sour your trip needlessly. Watch your diet, get the right supplies, be certain your teeth are good before you go, and you’ll be right as rain.