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Don’t Forget Oral Care This Holiday Season!

Woman brushing teeth with electric toothbrush

It’s no surprise that your to-do list has probably doubled or tripled in recent weeks. Not only are you forced to plan for all the relatives who plan to visit, but you need to prepare for holiday dinners, purchase gifts for your family, hang up decorations, and who knows what else you forgot to add to your to-do list! With that said, it’s important that you don’t forget one of the most important aspects of your long-term oral health: at-home care!

While Blue Coast Dental does everything it can to help you maintain positive oral health, 99 percent of your oral care actually occurs outside of the dental office. Assuming that you’ll be traveling for the holidays, whether it’s to visit friends or family, here are some on-the-go oral care tips to keep in mind.

Rinse Your Mouth After Meals

Woman eating a salad

We understand that when you’re traveling, you may not be in a situation where you are always able to brush and floss, especially if you are at a restaurant. However, there are ways you can reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease without needing to necessarily excuse yourself.

Keep in mind that food particles easily get stuck in teeth all the time. Thankfully, with a thorough rinse with plain water, you can loosen debris and make your future oral care easier. While dental floss is the most effective solution (which we’ll talk about in a second), rinsing your mouth is a reasonable practice as well.

Carry a Travel-Dedicated Toothbrush

Travel toothbrush

If you use an electric toothbrush at home and it’s difficult for you to carry around with you, you’ll find that a manual toothbrush is far more portable to use (and doesn’t require a charger to be effective.) Since this toothbrush is only used for travel purposes, it will last much longer!

Toothbrush holders/covers can promote bacterial growth, so we advise against using them on the go, unless you plan on disinfecting it and your toothbrush whenever you travel. Alternatively, you can disinfect your toothbrush by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide or antibacterial mouthwash for no more than 15 minutes.

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Carry Floss Picks

Pack of floss picks

Have you ever had a piece of food that was so infuriating that it made it so you couldn’t think about anything else? With handheld floss picks, you can easily remove food from between your teeth and ensure bacteria doesn’t have a place to call home in the deep pockets of your mouth. You can even buy floss picks that are fully compostable, if that’s your preference!

Keep Mouthwash Available

Mouthwash toothbrush and toothpaste

If you’ve just finished having a meal and then tried to talk or kiss someone, you might have noticed them holding their nose, albeit in a polite way that wasn’t obvious. When your breath is less than spectacular, pocket-sized mouthwash can go a long way.

Furthermore, teeth can be weak after eating acidic foods. Once you’ve given your enamel about 30 minutes to remineralize, swish around some fluoride-based mouthwash to expedite the process and keep your mouth smelling fresh while on the go.

Chew Gum Often

Woman chewing gum

Chewing gum works to keep saliva production high, and dry mouth is one of the leading causes of tooth decay, especially in older folks. When you chew gum, you spark saliva production, wash away loose food debris and harmful bacteria, and keep your mouth at a healthy pH balance.

When you absolutely don’t have any of your oral care products on you, chewing gum can make a big difference in fighting against cavity-causing bacteria. Just make sure to choose a chewing gum that is sugar-free and (even better) approved by the American Dental Association on the back of the package.

Are you traveling this holiday? Don’t let your oral health go by the wayside. Instead, pay our office a visit to get your routine exam and cleaning out of the way!

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