We all love a good summer vacation. It’s a fantastic way to unwind and reconnect with our family members, while visiting a fun location. But there’s never a good time to slack off on your oral care routine. Who wants to return home with a cavity, a cracked tooth, or painful gums? Follow these tips to help you and your loved ones maintain good dental health on vacation!
- Have cold water available at all times, for all members of the family. Avoid drinking soda, juice, or sports drinks, all of which have lots of sugar. Sugar that remains on teeth forms acids that lead to decay. Diet soda also harms teeth by staining and breaking down enamel. Water is really the best choice for your teeth and overall health.
- Don’t chew ice. On hot summer days ice is so enjoyable, but chewing it will cause cracks in your teeth. This is true for children as well. Sometimes the cracks are tiny, but over time, the cracks can spread and deepen, causing pain and allowing bacteria to invade the tooth.
- Snacking is going to happen on vacation. Plan ahead and have some low-sugar, low-carb options available. Everyone likes raw veggies and a healthy dip, like hummus. Cheese cubes or nuts are also convenient and filling, with no added sugar.
- It’s ok to say yes to an occasional summer treat like a popsicle, slushie, or ice cream. Treats are part of the fun of a vacation, especially for kids. If you are away from your toothbrush, protect teeth after a treat by rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water. Chew sugar-free gum if it won’t interfere with your dental work. Only offer gum to children old enough to chew without swallowing gum.
- Remember to keep up with your vitamin C and calcium intake on vacation. This is especially important for growing children! Not only will you help maintain your overall health, but calcium helps keep bones (including teeth) strong and vitamin C helps repair tissues and keeps gums healthy.
As always, call your dentist if you or a family member has a dental emergency while on vacation. Your dentist can help determine if emergency treatment is needed or if the problem can wait until you return home. In Raleigh, call the office or Dr. James Colson at919-231-6053 for all your dental care needs. Have a great vacation!