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.