Vacations can be relaxing, restful, and the best way to “get away” from it all. Travel, on the other hand, can be stressful, tiring, and can leave you longing just to be home.
Taking care of your health, especially your oral health, before leaving on your next trip can help ensure that what you’ve left behind doesn’t catch up with you in the form of extra fees, dental bills, insurance problems, and painful procedures.
If you have any existing oral conditions, leave enough time to receive the treatment you need from your regular dentist. Remember that follow-ups that may be necessary. If there is the possibility of needing a surgical procedure such as a root canal, don’t take the chance of putting it off until after your trip – pain can take away some of that zest for adventure.
So you’re a world traveler–you know that you have to be prepared, and have tucked your medical insurance card into your under-clothes money pouch. But are you prepared for dental emergencies too? Jot down some numbers and names in case you need dental treatment abroad. Ask your dentist if they are members of any associations with international branches. Even ask your insurance provider about emergency coverage in the places where you are headed. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Instead of digging out that spare toothbrush that stays in your travel kit, consider spending the spare change and buying a new one for your next trip. Old faithful has served you well, but travel toothbrushes get tossed around in a variety of germ-ridden environments. While you’re at the store, purchase a toothbrush cover with holes for ventilation and some extra floss in case your current supply unexpectedly runs out (it happens to all of us).
For those long bus rides next to strangers you’d rather not scare with your breath, keep sugar free gum handy!
Remember that some countries have limited access to adequate teeth brushing facilities. Do a little planning ahead, a little homework, and a little shopping, and you can avoid an unsavory holiday.