You've finally arrived at your destination. It's now time to relax and enjoy your vacation. But it's important to maintain your oral hygiene to keep your mouth healthy. Follow these tips to help protect your mouth from oral health problems.
Maintain your oral care routine. Being on vacation is not an excuse to slack off on taking care of your teeth. In order to keep your mouth healthy, you need to continue what you're doing at home.
- Continue to brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste to protect against mouth problems such as cavities, gingivitis, and tartar buildup.
- Floss every day to remove tartar from tooth surfaces and to reach areas your toothbrush can't get to. Floss can also help against gingivitis.
- If you're out and you can't brush your teeth after eating (especially something sweet!), then at least rinse your mouth with water to help get rid of food from your mouth.
- If it's not safe to drink the local water, then it's likely not safe to use it for oral care either. Use bottled water or boiled water to brush your teeth and clean your toothbrush.
Keep your toothbrush clean. Take it out of its carrying case as soon as you reach your destination. Stand it upright in a cup to allow the brush to dry (wet brushes breed bacteria) and to allow the water to drain away from the bristles.
Eat teeth-friendly foods. For many, a vacation is a time for overindulgence. Try to watch what you eat and limit the amount of sugar you have.
- Eat more foods that won't harm your teeth. These include:
- fibre-rich fruits and vegetables (fibre helps stimulate saliva flow, which can neutralize acids and enzymes that cause tooth decay)
- dairy products such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt (calcium from these foods help keep teeth strong)
- black tea and green tea (these teas contain substances that kill or inhibit bacteria found in plaque)
- Limit foods that may harm your teeth. These include:
- sweets, including sweet pastries, lollipops, caramel, even cough drops with sugar (sugarless ones are available!)
- carbonated soft drinks. In addition to having high sugar content, these drinks also contain acids that erode tooth enamel.
- starchy foods that can get stuck between your teeth, such as soft breads and potato chips
- After eating, chew sugarless gum to increase saliva flow to help remove food particles from your mouth and to help keep teeth clean.
And remember to brush your teeth after eating. If you can't, then rinse your mouth with water after eating something sweet. You can also try eating a raw veggie or fibrous fruit (e.g., apple with the peel, after washing, of course) to help get rid of food from your mouth.
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