You’re packing your bags for your holiday. Your mind is racing with excitement for adventure and hunger to create new memories. Just before you get on your flight, it can be easy to forget about your oral health. Unfortunately, this can happen when your teeth are their most vulnerable. Believe it or not, it is common for your dental hygiene to plummet while on holiday. So, here are some tips on how to maintain your teeth health while travelling.

Cheerful man holding luggage in departure lounge

Disruption of your oral hygiene routine

Often, when you’re planning a holiday, it’s because you want an escape from your daily routine. However, there are some aspects of your routine that you shouldn’t put on pause, like your oral hygiene. Brushing with medium or soft bristles toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is essential in winning the fight against gum disease and tooth decay.

However, as you go through time zone changes, it’s easy to lose track of when you last cleaned your teeth. You may find yourself experiencing that “fuzzy tooth sensation” along your gum line. This is the accumulation of bacteria on your teeth and can lead to bad breath or serious issues like periodontal disease.

What can you do?

How do you keep your teeth healthy when travelling? Packing your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in an easy-to-access dental travel kit is a good first step. Then, make sure to brush your teeth after every meal. Should you brush your teeth on a long flight? Of course! You’ll probably sleep a lot during the flight, so set a timer for every ten hours as a reminder to clean your pearly whites. If you’ve accidentally left your toothbrush, floss, or toothpaste in your suitcase at home, airport shops or hotel front desks often stock exactly what you’re looking for.


On a long flight, you’d be lucky to stay hydrated with the small water bottles and recycled air-conditioning. This can often lead to a headache and dry mouth when you finally arrive at your destination.

It is well established among dental professionals that your saliva and water can help wash away food particles hidden on your teeth. If you lack both these elements, you’re left with a dry mouth and a bacteria breeding ground.

What can you do?

Try to resist alcohol just before or during your flight. This could dry your mouth out even more.

Drinking water before boarding your flight is crucial for staying hydrated on your trip and keeping your dental health in check. Adding sugar-free gum to your dental care arsenal can also help keep your mouth hydrated.


Time with your teeth

So, you’ve finally scored some time to clean your teeth. Taking your time to properly clean your teeth in an unfamiliar environment like a stop-over airport or cramped plane bathroom can feel overwhelming. You can feel especially rushed when the area is in high use. Unfortunately, this can result in your dental hygiene falling by the wayside.

What can you do?

To make sure that your oral hygiene routine isn’t rushed, keep in mind that satisfactory brushing takes at least two minutes, in addition to flossing between every tooth. Set a timer on your watch or phone to keep track of time. Also, be wary of your toothbrush’s cleanliness. So, how do you keep your toothbrush clean while travelling? After every use, rinse off all the excess toothpaste that has been left on your brush. Don’t store it in a plastic Ziploc bag! Use a well-ventilated toothbrush holder or toothbrush travel pack instead. Otherwise, moisture can get trapped inside your brush and cause bacteria to grow.

Snacking and trying on different food while travelling

When you’re on a trip, it’s almost certain you will put on a few extra kilos. It’s hard to resist indulging in new/foreign foods and room service. But, if you don’t limit your consumption of sweets, alcohol, and snacks, you could be jeopardising your dental health.

Even though it’s nice to soak up the local cuisine, you should be careful of treats packed with added sugar and contain high acidity levels. Down the road, this can undo all the oral hygiene preservations you’ve done before the trip. Coming home from your holiday with souvenirs is fine, but bringing back a swag of oral health conditions should be avoided!

What can you do?

For one’s mental well-being, it can be beneficial to let loose every once in a while. But to avoid dental damage and putting your teeth and gums on the line, choosing the occasional healthier snack can be well worth it. These could include fruit or almonds. Also, if you do end up indulging in your new favourite sweets or unhealthy foods, follow each meal with water to rinse your mouth of food particles. It’s simple dental tips like these that can help you maintain your teeth health while travelling.

SonicBrush fully automatic toothbrush

Oral health problems and tooth decay emergencies

Even when your dentist is around the corner, addressing toothaches, damaged teeth & other dental issues are still inconvenient. However, dealing with where to go and what your insurance covers in an unfamiliar place can be even more of a headache.

Often, your dental healthcare options will be dictated by your travel destination, especially when you’re overseas or somewhere remote. So, how can you address emergencies and maintain healthy teeth while on holiday?

What can you do?

The best possible protection against dental emergencies is a good oral hygiene routine and visiting a dentist before your trip. PureSmile offers dental check-ups where we can catch your dental issues even before they become a hassle.

Another dental care tip would be to ask your dentist about acquiring a custom-fitted mouthguard. This can be especially useful when participating in high-impact sports or activities during your vacation.

Here at PureSmile, we have locations all over Australia and New Zealand, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. So if you’re travelling around the country, there may be a branch near you. Find your closest branch!

If you’re travelling somewhere further from home, you can ask your dentist if they have any advice on dental clinics or professionals near your travel destination. That way, you can prepare for any dental emergency and maintain your teeth health while travelling.

For more tips on our oral health topics, check out the blog.

If you’re looking to get your teeth in tip-top shape before you head off on your work trip or holiday, our teeth whitening treatments can also help.