Labor Day is just around the corner, and while this means relaxing and sleeping in for an extended weekend, for many people, the coming holiday means travel! If you’re heading out on a late-summer vacation or a simple road trip, make sure you’re keeping your teeth and gums healthy along the way. Here are a few ways to keep your mouth clean (and healthy) while you’re traveling:
1. Ventilate Your Toothbrush
Believe it or not, your toothbrush needs air! A toothbrush holder without holes for ventilation can keep moisture locked inside, which can cause bacteria to grow. Keep your toothbrush in a large enough container to circulate air.
2. Keep It Dry
If you’re staying in one place, give your toothbrush a vacation from your travel bag or case. Leave your toothbrush out in order to dry out properly. This will help ensure it doesn’t become a breeding ground for bacteria.
3. Go Small
The more compact your oral hygiene items, the more likely you are to keep them handy – and use them. Opt for foldable toothbrushes, mini toothpastes and small bottles of mouthwash. If you’ll be on a long flight, keep these in your purse so you can take care of business mid-flight.
4. Pack an Extra
Losing a toothbrush on a trip isn’t super uncommon, and often, those furnished by the hotel are too firm for your gums. Pack an extra toothbrush so you’re always covered. Optimally, keep one in your checked bag and one in your backpack or purse.
5. Use the Water You’d Drink
If you’re traveling somewhere you can’t drink the tap water, don’t use it to brush your teeth either. Use bottled or treated water for your oral hygiene if you’re traveling somewhere with unsafe water.
6. Gum it Up
Traveling sometimes means waiting longer than you’d like to brush your teeth. Keep your mouth as clean as possible by using sugarless gum after eating or sucking on xylitol mints. Green tea can also protect your teeth, so drink up!
7. Keep the Sugar on the Down Low
“You’re on vacation!” is a good excuse for eating, well, anything. That said, sugar-laden treats can do a number on your teeth and gums. Try to keep the sugary snacks and treats to a minimum. Every time you expose your mouth to sugar, you’re inviting tooth decay!