3 Oral Health Tips for Travelers

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A part of summer we all look forward to is traveling. Maybe you’re going to stay with relatives, or maybe you’re going to visit a completely new place! Either way, staying in a new place can disrupt good habits like regular brushing and flossing.

Fortunately, there are some useful things you can do to keep up your oral health on the go. I hope you do!

Here are 3 oral health tips I’ve put together for you to keep in mind during your summer travels.

Tip 1) Taking Mouthwash on a Flight

I recommend mouthwash like Listerine as part of your oral hygiene routine. Just because you’re on a vacation or business trip doesn’t mean you can ignore your oral health, but you do face an obstacle if you’re traveling by plane.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the government agency in charge of keeping everyone safe when flying on a commercial airline. If you check in your luggage, you have the freedom to put what you need in there, including mouthwash.

This is a good way to go if you have a large container, but it’s always better to stow your toiletries rather than packing them, because you’ll need easy access to them.

For carry-on luggage, it’s a different story. The TSA guidelines allow for a container with a maximum volume of 3.4 ounces for liquid. There are on-the-go mouthwash packets and other travel-sized options to consider.

The most important thing is to figure out a way to get the dental care supplies you need where you’re going.

Tip 2) Watch What You Eat and Drink

I know, it’s a horrible thing for me to suggest that you watch what you put in your mouth when you’re traveling and on vacation! On the other hand, not only will your waistline benefit, but so will your teeth.

Think about the temptations during traveling! You’re likely to eat more fast food, more continental breakfasts with questionable oatmeal, more soda, more candy… the list goes on and on. And depending on the area, even the water might be unsafe.

I highly recommend you bring bottled water and healthy snacks that won’t rot your teeth if you can’t brush and floss as often as usual. Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum whenever possible.

Tip 3) Gum

What if you just don’t have any access to the stuff you normally use to keep your mouth clean and healthy?

Well, I’ve found some sugar-free gums that can imitate a tooth brushing if you’re in a pinch. You can easily take some gum along on a marathon plane flight or road trip, and it has some handy properties.

Gum is good at increasing the flow of saliva into your mouth, which serves to remove food particles and gunk that’s stuck in your teeth.

It also has a secondary role of decreasing the number of bacteria in your mouth. This is important, because giving bacteria free reign in your mouth for too long will lead to tooth decay and other diseases.

In the end, all I can say is enjoy your trip!! Just make sure to take care of your teeth as well as you can, and come see me when you get back.

Take care!

~Dr. Marea White