7 Dental Health Tips When Traveling
Have you ever considered the importance of dental health care before traveling? Probably not and I don’t blame you, at the end of the day you’re thinking about your new adventure and escaping your daily habits, including keeping up with hygiene. It can be easily forgotten and disregarded. However, with some planning ahead of your holiday, you can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle. Just imagine: having dental issues during your holiday would completely ruin your time and cost you a lot of money, especially if you don’t have a decent health insurance plan covering potential dental costs.
Here are my 7 tips on dental health care when traveling to significantly decrease the possibility of having problems with your teeth.
Ready!? Here we go:
1) Make sure to schedule a regular checkup with your dentist prior to your departure. Many dentists are rather busy, therefore you have to keep in mind they usually want to schedule cleaning treatments or any other appointments far in advance. It would be best to call your dentist and discuss the possibilities.
2) Pack any essentials you need to clean your teeth. I always bring my toothbrush in a ventilated toothbrush cover, to prevent any bacteria from growing and traveling with you! After using your toothbrush, make sure to dry it out! In addition I bring my toothpaste, floss, sugar free chewing gum and mouthwash water.
3) Will you have a long flight ahead? Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste in your backpack so you can easily access these items during the flight. A lot of carriers provide a toothbrush set, but it is better to be sure than sorry.
4) Try to drink plenty of water throughout long flights and avoid snacks heavy in sugar. Bacteria in your mouth grow faster when you eat sugar, therefore try to avoid it if possible! Chewing sugar free gum also helps if you have a bad breath or a dry mouth.
5) First things first: upon arrival, it is reasonable to assume you want to brush your teeth immediately. Once you brush your teeth, make sure to take out your toothbrush when you arrive at your hotel or hostel later in order to give it a chance to dry completely. A wet toothbrush is heaven on earth for bacteria, they love it!
6) Determine if you have solid medical coverage. Having a solid International Health Insurance is quite important. You have no idea how much money you could save on dental care if something bad happens to your teeth, and how much you could spend if your insurance plan doesn’t cover dental care. In many countries dental clinics will charge you directly so be sure to get all the essential paperwork for the refund process.
7) Be cautious with tap water abroad, especially in Asian countries. I have rarely experienced an Asian country where it is safe to drink tap water. It’s important to use bottled water, for both drinking and brushing. Also, I strongly advice to rinse your mouth with bottled water. Risks are significantly low comparing drinking bottled and tap water, but I prefer to not take that risk at all.
In any emergency case, it’s important to find a credible dental clinic. Many countries have associations to ensure high quality standards. You can always contact your insurance company for more suggestions or check out the reviews of local clinics. Hopefully the above mentioned tips will prevent a dental visit entirely. Enjoy your travel adventures but always stay safe and healthy on the road!
About Marcel de Jong – Marcel de Jong is specialist in traveling for more than 15 years. He saw more than 47 countries and keeps traveling 10 months per year. Since 2012 he’s blogging for Now Health International helping thousands of people with the best tips for traveling, insurance and healthcare on the road. Now Health International is a global business that offers the International Health Insurance and International Medical Insurance services.