Tips for Oral Hygiene While Traveling: How to Care for Your Teeth On the Go

Your flight will be leaving soon! As you make sure you have everything you need in your bags, you realize you don’t have your toothbrush. Now you’re wondering what else you’ve forgotten!

There will be meetings all day and you won’t have much time for trips to a store, so what dental supplies do you need to take besides the toothbrush? You may be out of your normal routine but oral health isn’t something you can let slide. 

So, what do you need to know to prioritize oral hygiene while traveling? Read on as we discuss the oral health items to make sure are always in your suitcase. We’ll also provide some pro tips for keeping your teeth healthy while traveling. 

On-the-Go Dental Tools You Need to Pack

Here are the dental health tools to pack every time you leave home: 


Take your regular toothbrush (especially if you normally use an electric toothbrush) plus an extra one just in case. It’s better to be prepared if something unexpected happens. Carry one in your suitcase and one in a carry-on, briefcase, purse, or backpack. Don’t forget to bring a charger or batteries for your electric toothbrush.

If you do forget a toothbrush, you can brush with a paper towel or washcloth wrapped around your finger until you get another one. Add toothpaste if possible. Chewing on hard veggies can also temporarily substitute for brushing. Many are high in fiber and will naturally clean your teeth. The biting motion during chewing removes food particles and naturally cleans your teeth. Of course, brush your teeth thoroughly with a toothbrush as soon as you can.


Get travel sizes of your toothpaste so you can carry them with you if you fly to your destination. Even if you don’t fly, smaller sizes are easier to pack. It’s important to have your favorite brands with you, especially if you use a whitening or desensitizing product.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Mouthwash with fluoride makes for a good breath freshener but it’s also good when you can’t immediately brush your teeth, helping to keep your teeth clean and protected. Take travel sizes of this product, too, so you can take it on the plane with you and freshen your mouth during your flight.

Floss Picks

These pack well and are easy to carry. You can put a small packet of them in your pocket or wallet. They are handy to have with you when food is stuck in your teeth and you can’t brush. If you can’t find any picks, regular floss works too!

Now that you have the necessary supplies to travel, let’s talk about some pro tips to maintain your oral health routine while you’re away from home.

Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy While Traveling

The best advice we can give is to maintain your routine, with the same tools you use at home when you travel. This isn’t the time to try something new. You may not have time to find a drugstore if something doesn’t work like you thought it would. 

Here are some tips for oral hygiene while traveling to keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible.

#1 – See Your Dentist Before You Go

If it’s time for a routine dental appointment and teeth cleaning, do it before your trip. Your teeth will be clean and fresh as you meet new people, plus your dentist will have the opportunity to catch any small problems before you leave town. One thing you won’t have time for while you’re away is a dental emergency.

#2 – Use Bottled Water

Don’t take chances, especially when traveling internationally. You don’t want to spoil your trip by using contaminated water while you’re on the road. Carry bottled water with you and keep a few bottles in your hotel room. Use it for drinking but also for brushing your teeth.

#3 – Maintain Your Daily Habits

As far as your dental routine, maintain the same good habits while you’re away from home. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Carry a small bottle of mouthwash with you all the time. You’ll avoid bad breath and can swish away food left behind from eating. 

#4 – Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

It’s tempting to eat whatever you want while traveling! All those pastries on the breakfast buffet taste wonderful, but they still threaten your dental health no matter where you are. Sodas and many fruit juices contain a great deal of sugar and only lead to tooth decay. If you do indulge in a treat, brush or rinse your teeth as soon as possible after eating.

#5 Have Sugar-Free Gum on Hand

Sugar-free gum helps in two ways: Chewing gum can help relieve pressure in the ears when flying but it also helps prevent cavities. Chewing sugar-free gum generates saliva and the extra moisture in the mouth helps rid the mouth of bacteria that causes plaque.

#6 Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency Just in Case

Keep your dentist’s contact information handy while you’re gone. Verify the dental insurance provisions for travel emergencies in your policy. Alert your dentist about your travel plans in case you need to contact them while you’re away. In an emergency, they can direct you to the proper source of help.

So, what exactly is considered a dental emergency? There are some problems you shouldn’t handle yourself or try to “get through” while you’re traveling. Call your dentist and ask for guidance if you have:

  • Swelling in or around the mouth
  • Pain not relieved by OTC pain relievers
  • Bleeding that won’t stop
  • Signs of infection (swelling, redness, tooth pain)
  • A broken tooth or crown

In cases like this, your dentist can tell you what to do.

Follow these tips for maintaining your oral hygiene while traveling and then sit back and have fun!

Prioritize Your Oral Hygiene and Enjoy Your Trip!

As you prepare for your trip, get ready for the unexpected! Protect your teeth by having the supplies you are comfortable using with you. Then follow the tips outlined in this article so you can keep your teeth and gums clean and are ready for anything that happens while you’re away from home.

Our expert dental team here at TLC Dental Center is ready to help too. We hope you have an uneventful trip but call on us if help is needed. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment before you leave; contact us today!