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How Traveling Can Affect your Oral Health

  • Changes in the diet while traveling can cause tooth decay, gum irritation, and bacterial growth.
  • Dehydration, jet lag, and lack of a routine can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
  • Sports activities like hiking or mountain climbing can result in tooth trauma, such as chips, cracks, or tooth loss.
  • Dental issues can cause discomfort, painful eating experiences, and incur costly trips to the dentist.
  • Preparing for travel involves visiting a dentist for check-ups, packing essential items for oral care, and having travel insurance that covers dental emergencies.

Traveling allows people to explore new places, indulge in different cuisines, and experience different cultures. However, as exciting as traveling can be, it can sometimes affect your health. Your oral health is one aspect of your health that you may not always consider during a trip. Neglecting your teeth and gums while traveling can lead to serious dental problems, ruining your trip.

Traveling in the U.S.

It’s estimated that about 60% of Americans travel at least once or twice annually. This shows how much traveling has become part of the American lifestyle. But here are ways traveling can affect your oral health and what you can do about it.

Changes in Diet

When you travel, you tend to indulge in different foods you may not be accustomed to eating. This change in diet can wreak havoc on our teeth and gums. Consuming excessive amounts of sugary, acidic, and starchy foods can cause tooth decay, gum irritation, and bacterial growth. To prevent this, limit your intake of these foods, drink plenty of water, and brush and floss regularly.


Traveling can be exhausting, and forgetting to stay hydrated is easy. Unfortunately, dehydration can hurt your oral health. When your mouth becomes dry, it produces less saliva, which is essential in neutralizing bacteria and keeping our mouths healthy. This can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water and avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks.

Jet lag on plane

Jet Lag

Traveling across different time zones can disrupt sleep patterns and cause jet lag. This can result in fatigue, making neglecting your oral hygiene routine easy. However, this can lead to gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. To prevent this, ensure you pack a travel toothbrush and toothpaste and make time to clean your teeth before bed.

Sticking to a Routine

Being away from home can make maintaining your oral care routine challenging. Whether camping or staying in a luxurious hotel in a new city, you must prioritize oral care. If it is challenging to maintain your teeth cleaning routine, you can consider purchasing disposable toothbrushes and flossers for ease of use.


Traveling may expose us to different sports and outdoor activities that we don’t usually engage in, such as hiking, cycling, and mountain climbing. Unfortunately, these sports can pose a threat to your oral health. Falls, accidents, and trauma to the mouth can cause chips, cracks, and even tooth loss. In this case, visit a local dentist as soon as possible to get your dental issue fixed.

How Can Dental Issues Can Affect Your Travel

Having dental issues can affect your travel in various ways. Here are some of those ways.


One of the most common ways dental issues can affect your travel is discomfort. Having a toothache or gum disease can make it difficult to enjoy the sights and sounds of your destination. Not only will you have constant pain, but it may also make it hard to concentrate on having fun.

Painful Eating

Having an issue with your teeth or gums can also make eating painful. This could mean you won’t be able to indulge in all the delicious dishes a destination has to offer. You may even be limited in what foods you choose due to the pain caused by chewing certain types of food.

Calculator and piggy bank savings concept


Dental problems can quickly add up in costs when traveling. Many people assume that they won’t need emergency dental care while away from home, so they don’t bother to look into dental coverage or insurance that may cover emergency visits. This can lead to costly trips to the dentist, which can put a damper on your vacation budget.

How to Prepare Your Teeth Before Traveling

Your oral health is crucial if you want to have fun when you travel. Here’s how to prepare your teeth when you travel:

Visit the Dentist

The first step is to visit your dentist. Your local dental office can check if you have any inherent problems with your teeth before you travel. They can also clean your teeth and provide tips to maintain oral hygiene while traveling.

Pack the Essentials

Pack all the essential items for your oral care routine, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and other items that can help encourage good dental habits.

Travel Insurance

It’s also essential to have travel insurance that covers dental emergencies. This can help cover any unexpected dental costs incurred while on your trip.

Follow a Routine

It can be easy to forget about your oral care routine on the road. Schedule time into your day for brushing and flossing, and don’t forget to maintain healthy eating habits.

Traveling is always an exciting experience, but it’s essential not to neglect your oral health while away. These tips can help you stay healthy, even while away from home. Take the time to care for your teeth and gums, and you’ll have a great trip.

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