When travelling long distances or for a prolonged period, you suddenly find yourself in a position where everyday hygiene becomes rather tricky. The kinds of things you would usually take for granted – washing your face, cleaning your teeth etc. – can no longer be carried out in the normal way you have become accustomed to.
Whether traveling for a day, a week, a month or even longer, it’s critically important to be proactive and plan ahead. After all, there’s nothing worse than finding yourself on a journey that appears to be endless, while at the same time dealing with personal hygiene issues you’d do anything to sort out!
On the plus side, keeping your teeth and mouth clean and fresh while travelling doesn’t have to be particularly difficult. Or even if you are likely to spend considerable periods of time in places where there’s no running water whatsoever, this doesn’t mean you have to let your usual oral hygiene standards slip. At least, not too much…anyway!
So if you’re heading off on your travels in the near future and have clean teeth on your mind, here’s a quick look at just a few tips and tricks for keeping things fresh on the go:
First of all, one of the best things you can do is invest in the most powerful mouthwash you can lay your hands on, which usually tends to be the best mouthwash for travel purposes. If you can get hold of a strong mouthwash where you only need to use a very small amount, it will be easy to carry and convenient to use, regardless of whether there is running water available. Just ensure it is a mouthwash that contains fluoride, in order to fully protect your teeth.
- Multiple miniatures
Make no mistake about it – those miniature toothpastes and other related products designed for travel purposes are not going to last you long at all. In fact, you’ll be lucky to get more than one or two days use out of them – especially when sharing. If you are planning on taking miniatures with you, the best advice is to stock up on a pretty solid collection of them before you go.
- Pack an apple
It’s widely known that apples can do a pretty impressive job cleaning your teeth as you eat them. Then again, the same can also be said for raw carrots and pretty much any other crisp, crunchy fruits and vegetables. As such, if you can keep a small stockpile with you at all times – or pick them up as you need them – this can be a good way to keep your mouth clean and fresh while traveling.
- Chew gum
As far as dentists are concerned, there’s very little you can do between meals that is better for your teeth and gums than to chew sugar-free gum. The chewing action helps ensure that plenty of saliva is produced in the mouth, which in turn fights away all the nasty things that can lead to plaque, bad breath and so on. When travelling, there is no such thing as carrying too much gum with you!
- Water flossers
These days, the very best rechargeable water flossers on the market are absolutely brilliant for travel purposes. All you need to do is pop a small amount of water or mouthwash into the reservoir, in order to give your mouth the kind of clean up usually only expected from a professional polish. Of course, water flossing shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for brushing, but can still nonetheless be great for refreshing your entire mouth while on the go.
- Standard floss
And of course, the fact that standard floss requires no electricity or water whatsoever to use makes it something of a no-brainer to take along for the ride.
- Stay hydrated
Remaining hydrated at all times is one of the most important rules of all, when it comes to looking after the overall health and freshness of your teeth and mouth. The drier and more dehydrated you become, the more likely you are to begin experiencing all manner of unpleasant oral health problems. Hydration facilitates the production of saliva, which is precisely what your mouth needs to remain fresh and healthy.
- Eat and drink thoughtfully
Along with chewing gum, anything you can chew, suck or nibble on that is healthy, sugar-free and enjoyable is something that is going to help stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth clean. By contrast, eating and drinking anything that is packed with sugar or acid is only going to do a number on your mouth. Every time you introduce sugary foods and drinks to your mouth, you increase the risk of tooth decay. And the longer you then leave things before getting busy with the cleaning and refreshing, the more elevated the risk becomes.
- Chewable brushes
They don’t exactly do the same kind of job as a real toothbrush, but chewable, disposable brushes are both a real thing and surprisingly effective. They usually consist of a small fuzzy square or sphere, which comes preloaded with toothpaste or powder which is then activated when chewed. When finished, all you need to do is spit it out and throw it away.
- Take a spare
Last but not least, if you are likely to be traveling for any period of time where you won’t be within instant reach of a shop, you’d be wise to take along at least one spare toothbrush. It’s amazing how easily things like this go missing, though it’s not until you find yourself completely stranded without a toothbrush that you realise just how essential they really are!