Sunscreen? Check. Phone charger? Check. Toothbrush? Oops.
It never fails that when you travel you always forget something. If that something is your toothbrush, then it’s time for plan B.
Ideally, you should go to the nearest store and buy a new one, but if you aren’t able to get one soon enough then rinsing thoroughly with water can help. Another way would be using a clean washcloth with water and toothpaste.
Letting your toothbrush air dry is how you keep your toothbrush clean at home, but that’s not always possible on vacation. What’s a traveling toothbrush to do?
“I’m a big fan of resealable plastic bags. Keeping your toothbrush clean and out of contact with other things is more important than making sure it’s dry on vacation,” Dr. Messina says. “A bag keeps your toothbrush separate from everything else in your luggage. When you get there, pop it open and let your brush air dry.”
Chewing sugarless gum can help relieve ear pressure during a flight – and help keep cavities at bay on vacay. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent cavities.
That’s because it gets saliva flowing, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Sugarless gum with the ADA Seal is guaranteed to do the trick.
If you are in a country where the water supply is compromised – or you’re on a wilderness adventure but aren’t sure how clean the stream is – always use bottled water to brush.
“Don’t use the local water to brush your teeth,” Dr. Messina says. What happens if you accidentally get local water on your toothbrush? “Get a new one if you can,” he says. “If that isn’t possible, rinse your brush well with bottled water to reduce the risk of getting sick.”
If you let brushing and flossing slide – or indulged in too many sweets while away – don’t beat yourself up. “Just get back on your normal routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing when you get home,” Dr. Messina says.