So you’ve got your flip flops on and your plane tickets booked, it’s time for your new holiday!
But wait – you didn’t forget about your teeth, did you? Because one thing that people often overlook before a holiday is the health of their teeth. It’s easy to take care of them when you’re at home because you get into a routine. But things become more difficult on a holiday: travelling disrupts your routine and you might end up neglecting your teeth. Plus, it can be hard to find a dentist abroad if an emergency happens, especially if you don’t speak the language.
Basically, no-one wants a dental problem when they’re on holiday. That’s why we’re here with five tips to keep your teeth in tip-top health.
Tip 1: Get a dental check-up before you go
If you’re due for routine a check-up, then it’s a good idea to get it done now, before you go away. This way, the dentist can fix any problems that might have otherwise ruined your trip. These can problems include tooth ache, swollen gums and loose teeth.
Tip 2: Be careful with the local tap water
We’re lucky in the UK that we get clean water whenever we turn on our taps. But clean tap water isn’t a given in many countries. It can give you diarrhoea or other nasty diseases. That’s why you should be critical of water quality when travelling, including the water that you use to brush your teeth. Research the country before you go and use bottled water if you have to.
Tip 3: Be mindful of what you eat, too
Travelling is a time for seeing new sights and enjoying new foods. But go easy on sugary treats, like the Dutch oliebollen and the Egyptian basbousa (they’re real foods: look them up). Also, if you have dental problems such as dentures, restorations or extensive fillings, then avoid sticky foods like toffee and caramel. That toffee apple at the German Christmas market might look appetising, but it could also dislodge your dentures.
Tip 4: Don’t forget your toothbrush
Remember to take an adequate supply of toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes. You might think you can simply buy these products abroad, but their quality can vary from country to country. People say “don’t forget your toothbrush” for a reason.
Also, keep in mind that airports class toothpaste as a liquid, so if your toothpaste is more than 100 ml then it needs to go in your hold luggage and not your hand luggage.
Tip 5: Get a European Health Insurance Card
For now, at least, the UK is part of the European Union. This means you can benefit from free emergency dental treatment in European countries. To do this, you will need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is free and can be obtained at ehic.org.uk.
Once you have the card, you’re covered for medical emergencies abroad, including dental emergencies. Simply show the card to a doctor or dentist and they will give you free emergency treatment. That’s definitely one less thing to worry about when you’re getting ready for your holidays!
Finally, from all of us here, have a fun and safe trip!