Most of us neglect oral health—so vital to our overall wellbeing. The neglect is particularly bad when we travel. Here are some tips for taking care of your pearly whites during the holidays:
1. Pack properly. The travel container you keep your toothbrush in should be large enough to provide air circulation. Don’t use a case that holds your brush tightly, and make sure the container has holes for drainage and ventilation. Before and after your trip, be sure to clean your case. An American Academy of Periodontology survey found that a third of travellers don't wash their toothbrush cases.
2. Dry out your brush. A brush that stays wet breeds bacteria. If you can, take your toothbrush out of its travel case as soon as you reach your destination. Standing your brush upright in a cup will allow the water to drain away from the bristles. If you’re travelling by car, you might let your brush air out on the dashboard. Take your toothbrush out of its travel container as soon as you get home.
3. Try treats for your teeth. Does travelling make it tricky to brush your teeth right after a meal? Pack some tooth-friendly foods to help you keep your mouth clean. Sugar-free chewing gum sweet-ened with xylitol will stimulate the flow of saliva, which helps to cleanse your teeth. Bacteria and bits of food will also stick to the gum instead of to your mouth. Research at Pace University, USA, suggests that green tea may help destroy the bacteria that cause cavities, so sucking sugar-free sweets with green-tea ex-tract—or drinking green tea—can protect your teeth.
4. Watch what you’re eating. On vacation, we tend to indulge a lot more, since you have the time and feel it’s time to binge. Try to limit the number of sweets you treat yourself to in a day. Each exposure will make a difference to your dental and oral health.
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