Holiday

Steps to take before going on holiday, dental products to pack in your suitcase and tips to keep your teeth in tip-top shape while you relax

With the early advent of warmer weather more of us will be thinking about packing a suitcase and going on holiday. Getting away from it all can mean indulging in mouth-watering delights – eating and drinking to our hearts’ content.

But going on holiday doesn’t mean that you should take a break from looking after your teeth’s health.

It is especially important to seek some pre-holiday advice from your dentist if you have recently had treatment which might make your teeth a little more sensitive than normal – for instance after having Zoom Teeth Whitening. London dentist Ethicare offers this treatment and its dentists are always happy to offer advice to patients who have whitened their teeth with a view to looking great on a beach holiday.

Many people clearly value looking after their teeth while on holiday – a 2009 survey of over-50s holidaymakers by Staysure.co.uk found that only two per cent could do without a toothbrush. (Five per cent were not bothered by going without underwear and 9 per cent viewed deodorant as non-essential!)

Before you go

Long before you go to the airport check-out gate you should have a dental check-up. Plan to go to your dentist about 12 weeks prior to departure and have a check-up.

This allows your dentist ample time to do fillings and get your teeth in great shape before you go on holiday.

During the check-up, when your dentist is engaging in small talk it is well-worth mentioning that you are going travelling as this can prompt your dentist to treat your teeth straight away rather than monitoring them.

Seek advice from your doctor on what action to take should existing dental issues re-appear on holiday.

Check out your travel insurance before you go abroad since emergency dental work is not cheap. Most insurance policies will only cover you for treatment involving the “relief of immediate pain”; cosmetic treatment involving fixing cracked crowns is not normally included.

Things to pack

Those over-50s we mentioned earlier in the article were right – a toothbrush should be the first item you think about packing. If you’re worried that they will take up too much space in your suitcase then think about investing in a travel toothbrush – they often can be split in half so that one part can be put inside the other.

A Tube Toothbrush Protector is also a good travel buy – it can stop your toothbrush leaking everywhere in your suitcase and will also prevent your toothbrush from being squashed until it is out of shape.

A dental first aid kit should be viewed as a last resort and only used if you can’t access a dentist. Typically they include items such as clove oil, temporary tooth filling, spatulas and adhesives – all items which are best used by professionals!

Dental floss – removing the food and plaque between teeth can help to prevent bad breath; essential if you are looking for a holiday romance! Dental floss also has other handy purposes; many travel site comment boards mention that they can be used to hang mosquito nets and hammocks and repair tents.

Pain relief tablets and bottled water – are also worth taking with you (please see later in this article).

While on holiday

In some destinations it might not be safe to use tap water. In such places it is best, if possible, to use bottled water to rinse teeth after washing.

If you do experience tooth ache while on holiday – then avoid very hot, very cold and very spicy foods. Curries and ice creams might have to be ticked off your holiday eating list. Pain relief tablets can alleviate the worst discomfort.

Hopefully, these tips will ensure that your teeth will look shiny and healthy when you have the holiday photos developed. Always remember to ask your dentist for advice if you have any doubts about holiday dental issues.

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