Thanksgiving gives families the chance to travel across the country to visit loved ones from afar, and enjoy collecting around a table to eat an incredible feast. If your family is traveling this Thanksgiving, be sure that everyone packs the right oral health kit to take care of their teeth while away from home.
Everyone should brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time. When traveling, buy a small travel case or cover for the toothbrush to keep the head clean and the bristles in good shape while it is stowed away.
You can’t really brush your teeth without toothpaste, so toothpaste is a must for any traveler. Look for a travel-sized tube that can easily fit in a small storage bag, and check to make sure that the toothpaste contains has the ADA seal of approval. Finally, children should avoid whitening toothpaste, which can contain harmful abrasives that can scrub away enamel.
Brushing only cleans about 1/3 of the total surface area of teeth, which leaves most of the teeth unclean. When creating your tooth care kit, pack dental floss and make sure to floss once per day, and clean between every space in their teeth. You can purchase travel floss, or a set of floss picks for easy flossing on-the-go.
Oral appliances require special care to keep them clean of food debris, and operating properly. If you or a family member has an oral appliance, be sure that they pack a proxabrush, which is a tool designed to clean teeth and oral appliances. Proxabrushes are similar to toothbrushes and have a cone-shaped head with fine bristles.
Also, those with oral appliances can floss their teeth with the help of a floss threader, which provides a way to floss behind brackets and in-between teeth, where food debris constantly gets stuck.
Vacations can, surprisingly, be tight on time. When planning a vacation, schedule a 10 to 15-minute window for the whole family to take care of their teeth, every morning and night. By blocking off a time in advance, you set clear expectations with your family that oral health time is serious, and everyone will plan on attending.
Try to make it a fun activity in the morning and the evening with your kids! Talk about what you enjoyed that day and what you’re looking forward to on the rest of your vacation. Having more than one person involved with your brushing routine will give you and your family members more accountability and make you more likely to stick with it.