When Your Body Attacks Your Teeth: Combating Autoimmune Dental Problems

Dental Health Tips For Vacation

If you are planning a spring break getaway or looking forward to your big summer vacation, don't overlook basic dental health in your pre-trip planning. Issues with your teeth can ruin a vacation, since mouth pain tends to become all-consuming. The following tips are sure to keep you smiling throughout your trip.

Tip #1: Schedule a checkup

Most people should visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. If you have a checkup near your vacation, consider scheduling it before your trip instead of after. This way you can be sure any problems have been taken care of. For those with specific dental concerns, such as advanced periodontal disease or even braces, a quick visit before your trip could help you avoid problems that lead to pain or infection on your vacation.

Tip #2: Keep hygiene materials on hand

If you are traveling by plane, train, or bus, make sure to have a personal hygiene kit on your person. This way if you are delayed or if your baggage is lost, you will be able to take care of basic oral hygiene wherever you happen to be. For flying, make sure that liquids are in 3.4 ounce or smaller containers—this includes both toothpaste and mouthwash. Also, place all liquids in a quart-size, clear plastic bag.

Tip #3: Prepare for emergencies

As a savvy traveler you should pack a small first-aid kit. Along with the bandages and antiseptic, include a few dental items. If anyone in your group has fillings or crowns, add a small dental glue kit. These allow you to temporarily reattach a crown or filling until you can see the dentist. Dental wax is also a good thing to pack, since it can be used to fill for a missing crown, smooth the edges of a small tooth chip, or relieve pain from a broken braces wire. You can find both items at a pharmacy.

Tip #4: Avoid bacterial exposure

A common pitfall with vacation dental hygiene is gum or tooth infection from the introduction of bacteria to the mouth. The culprit? Your toothbrush. The cases designed to protect your brush from dirt while traveling trap moisture, which leads to bacteria and mold growth. To prevent this, use a case that opens completely. Shake the brush as dry as possible and only place it inside the case when you are actually in transit—leave it out to air dry the rest of the time. Also, open the case up fully after each use so it can dry.

For more help, talk to a dentist at a dental office like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS before embarking on your trip.