Taking care of your teeth when traveling – It’s not something most people give much thought to during a holiday trip or backpacking adventure. Understandably so, people think about their swimming gear, towels, sunblock, what clothes to wear or their soon-to-be tanned skin. But don’t forget about your teeth too!
Before I fly out to my new travel destinations, one of the first things I do is pack my toothbrush and toothpaste.
Interested in getting some useful tips on how to take care of your teeth while traveling?
Keep reading to check out what I think are the 6 best tips:
1. Make sure to have your health insurance or dental clinic contact details with you.
In case of an emergency, it is always smart to have the contact details of your insurance company or dentist with you. In case you need advice or have urgent questions, it is always best to be prepared. If you have an accident or any small damage causing problem to your teeth, it would be extremely valuable to be able to get in touch with the right people. In addition, you can directly schedule a check-up or follow-up appointment as soon as you get back home.
2. Keep your toothbrush in a dry environment.
A beauty case or plastic bag (sometimes handed out at the airport) is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria; they love these places. Bacteria can corrode your teeth or leave you feeling unwell. Therefore it’s critical to have your toothbrush properly ventilated in order to dry out after using.
3. Buy sugar free gum.
Are you planning to head out to a far distanced destination and looking at a very long flight? Chewing gums can be a great idea to bring along. There are multiple advantages of chewing chewing gum during long flights: cleaning your teeth, freshening breath, preventing a dry mouth and preventing ear pain during takeoff and landing from pressure inside your ear canals. However, make sure the chewing gums are sugar free because sugar stimulates bacterial growth.
Extra tip: Most high-class airline carriers offer small welcome packages for all passengers usually including: toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and sleeping mask. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating during the flight!
4. I forgot to bring my toothbrush – what do I do?
I. The most obvious and best solution would be to find the nearest supermarket, pharmacy or any other place where you can buy a new toothbrush.
II. Brush your teeth with your finger! Wash your hands first, put some toothpaste on your finger and brush the in-and outside of your teeth.
III. Rinse your mouth with water after eating and make sure to get rid of leftovers between your teeth. Consume a chewing gum thereafter!
IV. Inform hotel or hostel staff on the issue and request an additional toothbrush and toothpaste kit.
5. Make sure to have proper health insurance.
In case something happens and you have to visit a dentist when traveling, it’s a comfortable knowing the expenses are covered. Most dental clinics abroad demand payments upfront so make sure you have a health insurance plan that covers all the costs.
Note: Costs can vary immensely and may skyrocket with certain treatments; always be aware of offices trying to scam you out of more money!
6. Use Google as a source to find trusted local dentists
You are probably not the first person looking for a dental clinic, wherever you are. Use this to your advantage and use Google to find local dentists. Check out their ratings and reviews from fellow travelers on travel forums. This is extremely valuable and provides useful information on what to expect in terms of quality and trustworthiness.
You probably saved a lot of money before flying out to make the most out of your holiday. Take my 6 tips to heart and take good care of your teeth. The tips are simple and not very time-consuming, but it can save you a lot of time, hassle and stress. You don’t want that to ruin your holiday, right?!
About Marcel de Jong – Marcel de Jong is specialist in traveling for more than 15 years. He saw more than 47 countries and keeps traveling 10 months per year. Since 2012 he’s blogging for Now Health International helping thousands of people with the best tips for traveling, insurance and healthcare on the road. Now Health International is a global business that offers the International Health Insurance and International Medical Insurance services.