Today I welcome an article from Dr. Ron Inge. Dr. Ron Inge is vice president and dental director for Delta Dental in Washington and executive director of the Institute for Oral Health. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I work as a Dental Hygienist when I am not busy blogging! Follow these simple tips to ensure your teeth stay healthy during the busy summer season. Then please enter the fantastic giveaway at the bottom of the page for a chance to win one of two kids Sonicare toothbrushes! I LOVE these brushes and highly recommend them to ALL my patients!!
Don’t Take a Vacation From Your Oral Health: Tips To Stay Healthy This Summer
As school is out for the summer and warmer weather is settling in, many families are making their seasonal travel plans. From camping trips and long car-rides, to theme park visits and bi-coastal trips, vacations can disrupt regular routines—especially those related to oral health and hygiene.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children. Even more upsetting, the CDC recently reported that 47.2 percent of U.S. adults have some form of periodontal disease. Luckily, tooth decay and gum disease are nearly 100 percent preventable.
By following the six tips outlined below, parents can help prevent cavities for themselves and their children, while instilling lessons for healthy habits all-year round, even when you are on vacation:
1. Pack properly. Be sure to pack extra travel toothbrushes, paste and floss in multiple bags or purses where you can get to them easily. In case you wake up in-transit or lose your luggage, you will still have easy access to oral health care.
2. Protect your toothbrush. Toothbrush caps are great for protecting brush bristles from germs and damage from being packed in your bag. Once you arrive at your destination though it’s best to uncap it. Covering wet bristles can trap moisture and encourage bacteria growth.
3. Bring disposable products. If you will be traveling in a place where you won’t have access to clean water or a sink, taking steps to clean your teeth are still important. Be sure to pack floss and look for products like disposable toothbrushes or tooth wipes, which don’t require paste or water. These can make for great resources in a long car-ride or a delayed flight at an airport.
4. Watch what you eat. While on vacation, people tend to change their eating habits and indulge themselves. The increased exposure to sugar can affect your teeth. Try to limit the number of times your family enjoys sweets while away from home. Chew sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol on long flights or car rides to help stimulate saliva production and rinse away food particles.
5. Pack healthy snacks. Pack a cooler or bag of snacks, but be selective. Choose tooth-friendly foods like carrots, celery and apples or healthy snacks like string cheese, yogurt, whole grain crackers or plain nuts. Pass on soda and sugary drinks and opt for water instead.
6. Rinse with water. Even if all you have is water, rinsing well after eating or drinking can help rinse away sugars.
Regardless of the season, always ensure that children’s teeth are effectively cleaned by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing every day. Talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants and fluoride varnishes as preventive measures to help protect teeth year-round. For more dental health tips about keeping teeth healthy all year long, visit Delta Dental WA Blog
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