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Be Prepared for Summer Travel: 5 Dental Health Tips for Your Vacation

Summer is here and, for many of us, it’s time for family vacation. Whether you’re boarding a plane for an exotic locale, spending a few days at your favorite amusement park, or loading up the kids for a trip to Grandma’s, it may still be a challenge to make dental health a part of your itinerary. After you’ve packed the sunscreen, bug spray and first aid kit, here are a few tips to protect your teeth and avoid dental mishaps:

 

1.  Don’t neglect your dental hygiene just because you’re on vacation.  While a break from the usual routine may be welcome, you’ll still want to maintain good oral health. Make teeth brushing and flossing prerequisite for you and your family before heading off to the beach or boarding the tour bus. Just because you’re roughing it on a camping trip doesn’t mean your dental hygiene needs to suffer.

 

2.  Keep healthy food on hand. Summer can mean cotton candy, s’mores and soda – fun as an occasional treat, but too many sugary foods can lead to cavities.  When packing for a road trip, think fruit, nuts, low-sugar or sugar-free options. You’ll save money on snacks – and your teeth.

 

3.  Buy new gear.  While you’re shopping for that new swimsuit or summer outfit, now is also the time to stock up on new toothbrushes to replace those old, worn out and frayed brushes.  The American Dental Association (https://goo.gl/7o33AY) recommends replacing your brush every three to four months. Toothbrush holders for travel and travel-sized toothpaste are also useful items when away from home.  

 

4.  Know what to do in case of a dental emergency. Carry your dentist’s contact information with you, and know where the nearest dentist is located.

 

5.  Schedule a check-up for your family. Get a clean bill of dental health for the summer and avoid tooth problems while on vacation. That way, you’ll have your check-ups out of the way and the kids will be ready for classes in the Fall.  

 

Summer vacation is made for family time and outdoor activities. With a little preparation, you can minimize unforeseen dental problems and return from your trip renewed and ready to tackle your next challenge.

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My Perio Protect Journey, Part 2
I arrived at the Western Dental office in Hawthorne, California for a dental check-up. Being a new patient and a member of the Western Dental Plan, my exam and x-rays were free of charge. The main purpose of my visit, though, was to begin the Perio Protect program. Dental appointments can give me a twinge of anxiety, but the staff at the office made me feel calm and welcome. The first step of the process was getting a thorough set of digital x-rays from a very friendly and efficient x-ray technician (I was done in about five minutes). They needed those to build my file and to make sure I didn’t have any hidden problems before starting Perio Protect. But all looked good. Next was a teeth cleaning. The hygienist went to work on my teeth, cleaning, polishing and checking the depth of the gum “pockets” around each tooth. Anything over 3 millimeters, she explained, indicated warning signs of possible periodontal disease, or at the least, gingivitis (a milder form of the disease). I checked out ok, except for a few “4’s” around the back molars. Her advice: give extra attention when brushing, and make sure to floss. And Perio Protect was definitely going to help. After a thorough exam by the dentist, a dental assistant prepped the trays used to take impressions of my upper and lower arches. (The impressions would be used to make the customized Perio Protect trays I would need for my home-care routine.) She filled the trays with impression material (kind of like soft Silly Putty), then placed the first tray over my upper teeth and held it in place for a few minutes while the material set. After repeating the process on my lower teeth and rinsing out remnants of the impression material, they had all they needed. My part was done, for now. The office would send the impressions to a lab to make my Perio Protect trays. I’ll be back in a few weeks to pick them up and get started with the program. Can’t wait to reap the benefits!
My Perio Protect Journey, Part 1
Perio Protect is a take-home dental care treatment that prevents gum disease (with the added, long-term benefits of killing bacteria, freshening breath and whitening teeth). A Perio Protect kit consists of two light-weight dental trays made of a soft, pliable material that fit snugly over upper and lower teeth. Each tray is filled with a small amount of Perio Protect gel and worn for 15 minutes each day. The following describes one patient’s experience. Everyone loves the feel of a clean, fresh mouth. So when I heard how Perio Protect could maintain healthy gums and guarantee fresh breath by killing bacteria, I wanted to learn more. Being in the dental business, I was invited to attend a training session for dental hygienists that highlighted how Perio Protect works and the benefits of the treatment. By wearing customized trays filled with a small amount of Perio Protect Gel for 15 minutes each day, powerful medication is delivered deep below the gum line, reaching every possible nook and cranny where bacteria hide and multiply. Its clinical benefit is in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, but Perio Protect also alleviates swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, maintains fresh breath and restores overall oral health. Over time, the mild concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel whitens teeth. Even though I’m meticulous about my oral hygiene, I learned what I was missing with my toothbrush, rinses and floss. I got a lot more detail than I needed, but enough to make me schedule an appointment the next day. I’ll report back after my visit. Stay tuned…