Summer is a time to go on vacation and travel, especially since people are now becoming vaccinated and travel is safe! However, even though you and your family may be on a break from work and school, that doesn’t mean the harmful oral bacteria in your smile is also taking it easy. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, dentist will explain why you still need to take time to keep your smile clean and healthy while on vacation, and what you can do to safeguard your teeth and gums.
See Us Before You Leave
The start of a summer, and before you start your vacation journey, is a great time to see the dentist. Your children don’t have to miss school, and their next visit should fall around winter break too! During the exam, our team will sit you down and carefully examine the teeth, gums, and oral structures above and beneath the gum line with advanced digital imaging technology. With these images, we can view your smile instantly chairside, and walk you through the diagnostic process so you better understand your smile.
If we discover issues like tooth decay, we could treat it in one visit with a lifelike tooth-colored filling, or in the early stages, halt further decay instantly with Silver Diamine Fluoride. We also have treatment plans to address issues like infection, gingivitis, gum disease, TMJ disorder, bruxism, and even airway obstruction in kids! The sooner we identify and treat these issues, the sooner you and your family can enjoy optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.
Take Toothbrushes and Floss With You
When you travel, don’t forget about your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss! You should bring these with you on your journeys. You can buy travel size options, or just bring what you usually use. Even if you forget, your hotel will have them available to use. They take up no room in your luggage, and even when camping you can usually find a sink or water spigot to help you brush and floss. Harmful oral bacteria, the kind responsible for everything from teeth stains and bad breath to tooth decay and periodontal disease, won’t be taking a break, so you shouldn’t take a break from your oral hygiene regime!
Maintain Your Routine
You and your family should continue to maintain your usual routine. For people of all ages, they need to brush before bed and again in the morning for at least two minutes. Make sure your toothbrush, whether electric or manual, has soft bristles to prevent inadvertent enamel damage if you clean too rough. You should approach your smile at a 45-degree angle to reach the tops and sides, and then clean the front of your teeth in circular motions. Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride too! This naturally-occurring mineral actually helps strengthen the outer enamel to keep your smile strong. Even children should use fluoride toothpaste, a rice-sized amount for babies and toddlers, a pea-sized blot for older kids and teens.
What about flossing? Even more vital than brushing, this is key to keeping gingivitis and gum disease at bay, so you continue to enjoy a whole and healthy smile, without risking bleeding gums and tooth loss. Kids often have an easier time using a floss pick. For people using tape, just take an 18-inch to 20-inch length and wrap each end around one of your thumbs. Then hold it taut with your index fingers. Move the tape up and down each side of everything tooth, dipping below the gum line when you do. Adjust your grip to use a clean portion for each tooth.
Healthy Foods and Drinks
A lot of our summer treats contain high amounts of sugars and acids, such as lemonade, sports drinks, fruit juices, ice cream, and other frozen treats. Does that mean we abstain from them completely? No! It just means enjoying them in moderation. You can even follow them up with a glass of water to help cleanse the smile of sugar particles. Also, make sure your family also enjoys healthier options. Fresh fruit and veggies both make a refreshing and cool treat during hot days. Drinking water is always beneficial too! Sugar in moderation and healthy snack choices can help smiles of all ages stay cavity-free.
Let Us Know If Issues Arise
When you or a member of your family experiences a toothache or sensitivity that doesn’t pass after a few hours, please let us know right away. This could be a warning sign of an advanced case of tooth decay, one that could become an infection without treatment. If your gums feel sore, look red, or bleed easily, this could mean gingivitis and gum disease that needs care to prevent worsening symptoms and eventual tooth loss. If you or one of your children chips or cracks a tooth when playing sports, please let us know! This is a dental emergency situation, and we can see you to offer repair and prevent the risk of cavities and further discomfort. Our team also creates custom athletic mouthguards for a strong layer of protection for those practicing martial arts or playing sports. We want to make sure the entire family enjoys optimal oral health, and we’re here to help people in the Dallas and Richardson, TX communities. We’re still following strict health and safety measures too, if COVID-19 is a concern for you.
If you have any questions about our approach to family dentistry or keeping smiles strong over the summer, then contact our team today.
Your Dallas, TX, Dentist Offers Travel Tips
Even if you’re heading out of town, you need to keep taking measures to protect your smile from cavities and periodontal issues! For more information on taking measures to protect your smiles when you’re on the road, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). Remember, the care you take each day is crucial for lowering your risk of cavities, gum disease, and other serious oral health issues.