Traveling? Don’t forget great oral care!

Chances are you’ll be doing some traveling this summer. According to the U.S. Travel Association, Americans logged 1.5 billion trips for leisure in 2010. This summer, zillions of people will jump in the car or board a plane to get out of town for a while. Travel is great for relaxation and recreation, but can be a challenge to keep up with good oral hygiene habits.

As you pack your travel kit, make sure to include your toothbrush and floss. Whether your vacation is going to be slow and leisurely with lots of down time or fast-paced with sight-seeing and other adventures, vow to take the few minutes required for thorough brushing and flossing. After all, it takes just a few hours for the bacteria in your mouth to begin creating the plaque that leads to dental decay and gum disease.

If you’re flying and carrying toothpaste in your carry-on luggage, you’ll probably want to purchase travel-sized toothpaste. Some hotels can provide small tubes of toothpaste, and, of course, it’s available for sale in most parts of the world. Of course, you can successfully clean your teeth without toothpaste, so don’t let forgotten toothpaste keep you from brushing.

Pack up the topical antioxidants, too.

We suggest packing a 15 ml. travel-sized container of AO ProVantage dental gel, too. Traveling can set the stage for increased oxidation and free radicals in your oral cavity. Food and drinks, including alcohol, can release free radicals. Nicotine—from tobacco use or even from second-hand smoke in bars, cafes and other public places—is another assault on oral tissues. Stress contributes to oxidation as well. Dashing around to keep a schedule or make a flight is a cause of stress. And if you’re visiting family, there just might be an uptick in your stress level.

When there’s an overabundance of free radicals in oral tissues, the cells can begin to break down. Antioxidants, like the phloretin and ferulic in AO ProVantage products, have been shown to neutralize the free radicals caused by nicotine, alcohol, and other stressors.

Major dental work

While you’re traveling, you might encounter a dental emergency such as a cracked or broken tooth, or perhaps toothache. Your best bet is to call your regular dentist for advice. She may advise you to find a local dentist, or tips on what to do till you can get back home. A hotel, visitor information office, or even a local hospital might be able to refer you to a reputable local dentist.

A growing trend is for people to travel abroad for a major dental procedure, such as cosmetic dentistry or even root canals. They are attracted by the allure of recovering as they vacationing in an exotic location. Also, costs can be a fraction of what one would pay at home. Dental vacationers are advised to be extremely cautious in researching the credentials and skills of the dentist who will be performing the procedure, as well as the local standards for sterilization.

Bon voyage! Have a great vacation! Take lots of photos—and take extra good care of your oral health.

If you’d like to build a powerful daily dental regimen to help you keep your teeth and body in prime condition, PerioSciences can help you protect yourself. Our AO ProVantage products and AO ProRinse are products designed to help keep your dental hygiene at its best with daily use. To learn more about antioxidants and dental care, fill out the form on our blog. To connect with PerioSciences, check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

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