3 Things You Can Do On Vacation To Protect Your Oral Health

If you are planning to take your family on a vacation, you may be concerned that their oral health will suffer during the trip. However, there are things that you can do to help promote good oral health even while you are enjoying time away from home. Here are a few of them:

Don't use the hotel-provided mouthwash unless you can review the ingredients

Many varieties of mouthwash are not healthy for your mouth. Some mouth rinses are only strongly flavored washes that do little more than mask bad breath. Others may have germicidal properties due to ingredients, such as alcohol, that can be drying to the oral tissues and even inflame sensitive gums. 

A suitable mouthwash may contain dentist-approved ingredients, such as chlorhexidine, which is antimicrobial but does not incite dry mouth. The germ-killing abilities of the mouthwash can help control oral bacteria that release volatile sulfur compounds that contribute to bad breath. In addition, the mouthwash can kill oral bacteria that release decay-inciting acid when they feed on leftover particles of food in your mouth. 

Unless you can review the ingredients in the mouthwash, it may be best to purchase a quality mouth rinse from a local store for use during your trip. 

Take along gum

A long road trip can include multiple stops for snacks, drinks and light meals. However, you are likely uncomfortable with the idea of brushing your teeth in a public restroom. A convenient alternative is chewing sugarless gum after eating. 

The gum can help remove particles of food from your mouth, and the chewing action can promote the release of saliva to help dilute bacterial acid and rinse away debris. Additionally, some types of gum may include xylitol as a sweetener. This ingredient has antimicrobial properties. Cinnamon is also antibacterial, so by chewing cinnamon-flavored gum, you can help decrease the bacterial population in you mouth.

Keep bottled water in your car

Having water handy can help keep you hydrated to prevent dry mouth, which is associated with a greater amount of tooth decay. The water can also rinse away plaque and help you resist sodas and sugary juices. 

Even if a soda is sugar-free, its acid content can demineralize tooth enamel to form cavities. Additionally, the acid can irritate the gums. Fruit juices often contain more vitamins than soda, but they can still be quite acidic.

To learn more ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy during a vacation, visit the office of a family dentist in your area (like Jeffrey S. Thaller DMD).