The team at Stec Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is very excited about the upcoming holidays this year, and we hope that all of our patients are enjoying their time with family, friends and work colleagues. The holidays bring in so many fun-filled activities and tasty treats, it’s hard to find another time of the year more exciting. It’s come to our attention that many patients are going to be traveling out of Nebraska for the holidays, both to warmer climates and to cities where extended family members reside.
For this reason, we’d like to provide our patients a few tips they should keep in mind this holiday season as they travel. Bacteria doesn’t stop when you hop on a plane or get out of a taxi. By keeping a few oral care tips up your sleeve, you’ll avoid cavities by the time the new year arrives.
Keep a Backup Oral Care Kit
One of the worst things that can happen while traveling is losing your luggage. However, losing your luggage shouldn’t mean that your oral health should suffer as well. It helps to keep a backup oral care kit inside your carry-on luggage should you need it later. In it, you should pack all the essentials, such as floss, toothpaste, an extra toothbrush and small container of mouth wash (that meets TSA standards of course.) If you’re using clear aligners from Invisalign, it helps to keep your next or previous pair as well to prevent hiccups in your treatment.
Make Sure Your Toothbrush is Dry
When toothbrushes are moist, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish and multiply in. That’s why covering your toothbrush with a protective case is ideal for travel, but not for use 24/7. Once you arrive at your destination, one of the first things you should do is leave your toothbrush out to dry. That way you reduce your risk of getting sick when you go to brush later.
Stay Busy on the Road
It’s no secret that traveling can make you more stressed, even if you’re a seasoned flyer or have no issue walking through big crowds. Stress can cause you to regress to old habits you may have broken in the past, such as nail biting or teeth grinding. To reduce this stress, both on your psyche and your teeth, it’s important to keep your hands busy and your mind occupied. A great way to do this is to bring music or a good book to read while traveling. When you’re not stressed, you’re less likely to fall prey to old habits.
Have the Right Tools Available
It’s important to keep snacks on you when traveling since food isn’t always going to be readily available. But that doesn’t mean you should resort to using your teeth to accomplish tasks that should be completed with certain tools. For example, if you know that you’re going to eat walnuts or pistachios, don’t use your teeth to crack them open.
Furthermore, it may feel easier to cut tape with your teeth when wrapping gifts, but you’re not doing your enamel any favors in the process. Using your teeth as a tool is a sure way to cause a dental emergency, which you do not want to deal with when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away from our office.
Regardless of where you travel for the holidays, you can bet that Dr. Stec and his team will be ready to see you again for your routine appointments. Until then, we’d like to wish all of our patients a happy holidays and safe travels!