Oral Care when Traveling

Schedule a Cleaning/Checkup Before the Trip

Make an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning/checkup before you travel. Going on vacation with a small cavity lingering in your tooth could result in further decay, at which point you may experience intense tooth pain on your otherwise enjoyable trip. A quick cleaning and checkup at the dentist will identify any cavities or other oral problems, giving you peace of mind knowing that your mouth is healthy and ready for the trip.

Bring the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste when traveling. A proper toothbrush should have a small head and soft bristles, allowing you to reach the back molars without irritating your gums. Toothbrushes with stiff bristles may actually work against you by irritating the gums and causing them to recede. Soft-bristle toothbrushes, on the other hand, are gentle and typically do not irritate the gums.

It’s also recommended that you choose a toothbrush and toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. The ADA has high standards regarding which products are allowed to display their seal. This seal signifies the toothbrush or toothpaste has met or exceeded these standards.

Go Small

For some, travel-sized oral hygiene items may make maintaining oral health easier. The more compact your items are, the more likely you will keep them handy — and use them! Opt for smaller or foldable toothbrushes, mini toothpaste tubes, and small bottles of mouthwash.

Clean your toothbrush holder while traveling

When you’re traveling, you usually store your damp toothbrush in your toothbrush holder, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. To keep both items free of germs, you should give them a regular, quick clean.

  • Rinse: rinse toothbrush and holder thoroughly under hot water to remove all scum and toothpaste residue.
  • Clean: fill a small cup with an antibacterial mouthwash, place both your toothbrush holder in the mouthwash for 30 seconds, then pull it out and rinse it in cold water. Please do the same for your toothbrush, but make sure to swish it around a little bit as well.
  • Dry: dry the toothbrush and toothbrush holder as much as possible. If you are not traveling until the following day, lay them both out to completely dry. If you do not have time to dry your toothbrush and holder completely, make sure you purchased a holder with venting holes to air out the container’s inside where the toothbrush will be stored.

Next time you open your toothbrush to brush, rinse it in hot water first. Do these steps each time you brush your teeth while traveling.