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Teeth and Travel: How to Take Care of Your Smile While on the Road

Traveling can be an enriching experience that expands your mind and worldview. It can also be incredibly stressful. The good news? It doesn’t have to be. At least not when it comes to your smile. In this article we lay out the top tips to keep your smile healthy and bright throughout your travels. 

Update your whitening routine

You might have a full whitening routine at home, but not all whitening kits are easy to take on the road. If you rock a full LED system normally, it may be best to leave that bulky packaging at home. Instead, you can opt for a more packing friendly whitening option like strips or pens. 

Whitening strips and pens are small, so they can easily be tucked into a toiletries bag. These treatments have simple application processes and don’t have any additional equipment. This means these systems don’t need to be cleaned or charged, which can be difficult tasks when you’re on the go.

Whether whitening strips or pens are best for you depends on what you’re looking for from your supplementary whitening system. 

Generally speaking, whitening strips can lighten a smile 5–7 shades, compared to an average of  3 shades with whitening pens. Whitening pens could be a good option if you’re just looking to maintain your current shade or otherwise embrace a subtle lightening.

While whitening strips might be a suitable choice for those seeking noticeable improvements in their smile, it’s crucial to remember the importance of maintaining your teeth’s health, especially if you’ve recently undergone cosmetic dental changes.

Regular use of a whitening pen can be enough after a professional treatment. It’s always wise to consult with dental professionals for personalized advice, ensuring that any cosmetic enhancements are maintained properly for lasting results and overall oral health.

Whitening strips might be a better fit if you’re seeking more dramatic results. 

If you’re fresh off a whitening treatment, all you may need is a pen for maintenance here and there. But if you’re looking to make a stark change while traveling, whitening strips may be a better fit.

Stay Organized

Organization may seem like a generic piece of advice, but hear us out — because organization can be the glue that holds your oral health together during travel.

When traveling, we recommend keeping your basic oral care in a small bag separate from your other toiletries.

By keeping your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in their own small bag, you can store them in a more accessible place like inside your handbag. 

This means that instead of having to rummage through your main suitcase for your essentials, you can quickly grab them from a tote, purse, or carry-on.

When you’re exhausted after a long day of travel or trapped at an airport thanks to a surprise delay, digging through your whole suitcase may be too big a task for your energy level. 

By keeping your essentials nearby, you’re doing your future selves a favor — both the version of you who can easily care for their oral hygiene, and the much further in the future you who will benefit from the long-term perks of well-maintained oral hygiene. 

Another organization note: if you use retainers or clear aligners, never store them anywhere other than your carrying case when they’re out of your mouth.

Many people assume they’ll remember that they stashed their trays in a napkin or pocket at dinner — but forgetting can mean damaging or losing your trays entirely. 

Stay Hydrated

You probably already know that hydration is an important part of travel. It can be easy to forget to drink water when your days are packed to the gills with planes, trains, and automobiles. But making a conscious effort to hydrate is crucial, since hydration drastically affects pretty much every facet of your health.

When you become dehydrated, your saliva production decreases. Saliva is an essential part of your defense against cavities and other health concerns ranging from the serious (gum disease) to the more superficial (bad breath).

When you’re properly hydrated, your saliva helps remove food particles and bacteria from your teeth. If left on the teeth for too long, these food particles and bacteria can harm your teeth’s enamel, potentially creating cavities or causing gum issues. 

Plan Ahead

Invest some time before your trip to plan and carry out your shopping. By shopping for your travel needs ahead of time, you can ensure you get the specific items you want. If you show up to the travel size section in a panic the day before your trip, you’ll have to settle for whatever products are in stock. 

With proper planning, you can order speciality items ahead of time, like for whitening or tooth sensitivity. This means you won’t have to settle for inferior products while you’re globe trotting. If you have highly specific tastes, a larger window of time for delivery or visiting several stores can be a major plus.

The dentists in Avon Lake OH also recommend visiting a dental professional a few days before your trip. This way, they will be able to spot any existing dental issues and provide some steps that you can take to take care of your teeth while traveling.


With the right tools and planning, there’s no reason for your oral health to suffer while traveling. With these selected tips, we hope your next trip has you stress-free and smiling bright. 

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