Ask a Dentist

Travelling Abroad: How to Prep for Your Oral Health

Q: I’m going on a 6-month trip abroad. Should I bring a toothbrush travel case?

A: Travel toothbrush cases appear convenient and hygienic, but without proper ventilation, these small, moist, enclosed spaces become breeding grounds for bacteria. Prevent gross stuff from getting in your travelling supplies. After brushing, wash your toothbrush and case with hot water until the scum rubs off. For additional protection, rinse your case with mouthwash for 30 seconds. Then dry off your brush off before tucking it away.

By the way, call your dentist to see if you’re due for an appointment. Half a year is a long time to be on the road, and you should be sure your dental health is in good order before leaving.

Buy necessary healthcare insurance too. A lot of plans include dental care, but you will have to check with your provider. Be wary of “dental tourism” — dentists in countries outside of Canada don’t abide by the same regulations and processes. This might leave you unhappy with the results, especially if you’re planning a big procedure, such as dental implants.

One other thing — before take off, pack your toothbrush, floss and toothpaste in your carry on. In case you end up flying overnight, you’ll want these things handy. It’s easy to forget dental care when you’re excited about getting away! Plan accordingly to avoid slip-ups.