Summer travel on your mind? Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush!

Cary, NC – With the temperature rising each day, it’s certainly starting to feel like summer. You may already be daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, but you’ll need to pack more than just your sunscreen and bathing suit if you’re planning to get away for a few days. The North Carolina Dental Society recommends a handful of ways to stay on top of your oral health while out of town.

toothbrushes“It is always a good idea to schedule a dental checkup before traveling out of town,” says Dr. Michael J. Gordon of Claremont Family Dentistry in Claremont, NC. “Visiting your dentist about a month before your vacation can prevent a dental emergency, especially if you plan on flying. Changes in air pressure often exacerbate an already existing toothache, making for a miserable trip. Your dentist can identify and treat any potential problems you may have, allowing you to pursue and enjoy your summer adventure.”

While your dentist can help you identify and treat any pre-existing issues with your teeth, it is important to keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape while you are away from home. The North Carolina Dental Society suggests ways to keep your smile bright and healthy so you can look back on vacation photos with pride:

  1. Drink water – While traveling in warmer weather, it’s critical to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to keep bottled water within reach. Sipping water throughout the day can alleviate dry mouth and help wash away food particles left over from meals and snacking.
  2. Pack an emergency kit – Travel size dental kits are perfect when you are on the go, squeezing easily into your carry on. These compact kits come with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash, making it easy to brush on the go.
  3. Don’t forget to floss – Being away from home is no excuse to slack on daily oral health routines, so be sure to floss each day. The time of day doesn’t matter, it’s the consistency and technique that are key.
  4. Eat healthy snacks– Skip the sugar, popcorn and chips during your road trip and instead opt for healthier snacks such as apples, carrots and nuts. These foods can help remove bacteria while keeping your sugar intake in check.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum – Throw a pack of sugarless chewing gum into your suitcase. Gum does more than just freshen your breath. It produces saliva that helps neutralize acids and minimizes the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

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