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Five Tips for Sustaining Your Smile

Winter is on its way out and spring is upon us, which means spring break is right around the corner. After months of hibernation, packing up the family for a fun getaway is something that many of us look forward to months in advance.

Vacations offer a break from the daily grind of school and work, and they oftentimes also come with a hall pass from the doldrums of our daily obligations. Unfortunately, when it comes to your oral health and maintaining your oral hygiene, there is no such thing as a vacation. While getting a break from oral care isn’t an option, there are several things you can do to make taking care of your teeth easy while on the road. The following five tips will make taking care of your teeth and travel effortless and stress free.

Pack Right and Light: Brushing and rinsing twice a day, and flossing once a day, are a must even when you are out of town. Full-size tubes of toothpaste and bottles of mouthwash take up space and add weight to your luggage, but fortunately, most grocery stores have a travel section packed with miniature tubes and bottles of everyone’s favorite body and hygiene products. Finding your favorite brand of toothpaste and rinse in small, light containers is no problem at all. You will also likely find travel toothbrushes and cases to carry them in. If you run out of product while you are out of town, you can stop by the market, grab more and go.

Protect Your Brush: You may be an expert at packing, but while you are at your destination, be sure to leave your toothbrush out to dry as often as you can. It protects your brush and your mouth from harmful bacteria, keeping both you and your brush safe.

Watch the Water: If you are staying where the tap water is not safe for consumption, it is also not safe for brushing. Rinse off your toothbrush with bottled or boiled water, and throw it out if you forget and run it under the faucet.

Get Gum: Road-trip food is one of the many things to look forward to while on vacation. Burgers, shakes, and burritos taste great and can be easily eaten while driving or walking or flying. Brushing away the leftover bits of food debris isn’t always possible when you are in constant motion. If you think there might be times when you can’t get to your brush, keep some sugar-free gum with xylitol or sugarless xylitol candies in your purse or pockets, and pop one in your mouth after you eat. They stimulate the flow of saliva, which washes away unwanted sugars, acids, and leftover bits of food that lead to decay. Sticky gum also pulls leftover pieces of food off of and out from between your teeth, keeping them safe until you can brush and floss.

Snack Healthy: Snacks are a regular indulgence, especially when the whole family is stuck in a car for hours on end. Keeping small mouths occupied with something other than whining can be the key to Mom and Dads peace of mind. Instead of loading up your kids on candy and sweets, buy bags of carrots and apples for them to graze on. Crisp fruits and vegetables are great for teeth and help keep them clean. They are also good for children’s overall health, and keeping the amount of sugar they eat to a minimum will also help your little ones behave their best, even after the novelty of travel has worn off.

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