Dental Hygiene Essentials for Traveling

Summer is peak travel season, with families going on vacations, recent grads embarking on adventures before starting jobs, and weekend warriors hitting the road for shorter trips. No matter where your travels take you, it's important to not let your oral hygiene routine fall by the wayside when you're away from home.

To keep your smile healthy and bright during your travels, be sure to pack these essential oral hygiene items in your bags:

Toothbrush and Toothpaste 

Of course, you'll need to bring along your regular toothbrush or an acceptable travel alternative. Look for toothbrushes with protective caps or folding travel cases to keep bristles clean and sanitary between uses. As for toothpaste, opt for travel-size tubes that meet TSA carry-on guidelines or purchase a plastic, refillable travel toothpaste holder.


Don't forget to also pack floss for cleaning between teeth and under gum lines where your brush can't quite reach. Floss picks or small single-use containers can make flossing on-the-go more convenient. Bringing along a small dental mirror can also help you spot areas you may have missed.

Mouth Rinse 

An antiseptic mouth rinse serves as a great cleanup crew, killing bacteria and removing food debris after meals when brushing and flossing aren't an option. Swish between meals during travel days or before bed after a late, heavy meal. Look for rinses with fluoride to get extra cavity protection.

Tooth-Friendly Snacks 

Satisfying your travel hunger with tooth-friendly snacks like fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, cheese, or plain yogurt can prevent plaque from building up. Keep a reusable water bottle filled so you'll always have a drink handy to rinse your mouth.

Sugar-Free Gum or Mints 

If you do indulge in less tooth-friendly meals and snacks while traveling, pop a piece of sugar-free gum or a mint to give your mouth a mini cleanse. The act of chewing helps boost saliva flow to rinse food debris and acids. Many gums and mints also contain xylitol, which helps prevent bacteria growth.

Nighttime Dental Supplies 

Always take the time for your regular nighttime brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine, even if you're tired from travel days. Some avid travelers even bring a quality battery-operated toothbrush and mini bottles of mouthwash on longer trips.

Lip Balm and Moisturizer 

The recycled air on airplanes can quickly lead to chapped, dry lips and dehydrated skin. Keep a hydrating, unflavored lip balm handy and use facial moisturizers to avoid issues like cracked or peeling lips that could harbor bacteria.

Other Handy Items 

Depending on the length and nature of your travels, you may also wish to bring a compact dental pick for getting out tough food particles, absorbent dental cotton for sensitive areas, and maybe even a travel-friendly water flosser. 

With a little preparation and planning, you can easily maintain your regular dental hygiene routines and avoid preventable tooth troubles—no matter where in the world your summer adventures lead! Call Great Lakes Dental before your next trip for a cleaning and any other care you need.