Summer is not complete without enjoying the great outdoors. Kids and parents alike love camping, tromping through trails, and exploring the wilderness! Are you going camping or hiking?

Here are some tips from your favorite dentists and orthodontists!

  • Everyone should have a water bottle.

And it should be filled with water, not juice or any other sugary drink. Water keeps you hydrated. And it rinses your mouth free of bacteria and food debris.

Your water bottle is also handy for brushing your teeth.

  • Don’t forget your toothbrush (toothpaste optional)!

Plaque can form on your teeth in as little as 4 hours. That furry mouth feel is just really unpleasant too! Don’t forget to bring along some kind of toothbrush to care for your teeth. Even if you don’t use toothpaste while on the camping trip, disrupting the plaque and sweeping food off the teeth is enough for a short trip to the woods. You can do a thorough cleaning when you return home!

You can pack your toothpaste too. However, remember to be environmentally responsible while camping, also. It is not recommended to spit toothpaste in rivers and lakes. The same is true for other products we use like shampoos and body washes.

  • Unlike in airports/airplanes where you want your toothbrush sealed from bacteria and germs, use breathable toothbrush cases this time rather plastic baggies, especially if it’s humid outside. This avoids bacteria growth from wet toothbrushes.
  • Camping isn’t camping without s’mores, of course! Sugary treats are bound to be part of the camping experience. It is especially important to clean teeth of sugar and food particles after having sweet treats. Swishing with water alone will be very helpful in neutralizing any sugar and acid in the mouth.
  • Include teeth-friendly, juicy snacks like apples, pears and watermelon in your camping cooler. Avoid chewy candies and other food that sticks to your teeth in camp or on the road when ideal brushing conditions may not exist.
  • Of course, you can’t avoid sweets and treats altogether. Drinking lots of water to rinse/wash away food particles and chewing ADA-seal. Sugar-free gum can help in between brushing and flossing to mechanically disrupt food and sugar particles that may be on the teeth.
  • Seeing your dentist and orthodontist, especially if you suspect any dental problem is going on, before summer trips can go a long way to protect your family’s dental health while keeping your vacations problem free when it comes to your teeth.

Happy summer! And don’t forget to participate in My Dentist’s Summer Adventure!