Dental health on road trips

Dental Health on Road Trips

Whatever is on the summer agenda, from camping to swimming at the beach, traveling with friends and exploring new places, it’s important to keep your dental health in mind. Here’s what you should know about taking care of your dental health on road trips so you are prepared when you hit the road.

Toothbrushes for Everyone!

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth so it’s important to make sure that everyone packs their toothbrush when they travel. It can be easy to forget since it’s often the last thing to pack because you’ll need to use it first thing in the morning before you leave. It’s always a great idea to bring a few extra new toothbrushes on trips just in case anybody forgets theirs. Caring for your dental health on road trips is easy but only if you have the tools to do it!

Chapstick with Sunscreen

It may not seem to fit with caring for your teeth, but using chapstick with sunscreen can also be an important step to caring for your dental health on road trips. That’s because a sunburn can make it uncomfortable to care for your teeth after a long day of swimming or lounging in the sun. Apply chapstick with at least SPF 15 every 2 hours while you’re outside in the sun, more often if you’re swimming or very active and sweating a lot.

Temporary Hacks for the Road

Sometimes it’s hard to stop the fun and remember to run inside to brush your teeth as frequently as you do at home, and it can be easy to let things slide because it’s vacation, so it may be helpful to have some simple hacks up your sleeve for those times when a temporary solution is better than none at all. If you may not have time to brush or floss your teeth on your normal schedule, such as after a meal, you can carry a small travel-sized bottle of mouthwash in your shoulder bag or backpack for a quick antiseptic rinse to help wash away food debris and fight bacteria. If you didn’t pack mouthwash, it’s always better than nothing to do a quick swish with a glass of water. Dental picks are also helpful to carry in your bag for those times when a piece of food becomes stuck between your teeth and it’s difficult to use a whole strand of floss.

Snacking on the Road

When you’re choosing snacks, foods like apples, pears, celery, carrots and strawberries are all great choices because not only are they healthy for you, but they have earned the nickname “nature’s toothbrushes” for their ability to help clean your teeth when you eat them whole. If you have braces or other dental appliances, make sure to check with your orthodontist before eating whole crunchy fruits or veggies, though.

In Case of Emergency

When you’re traveling, things often happen spontaneously — including mishaps and illness, unfortunately. If you or someone you’re traveling with experiences a sudden or severe toothache or a dental trauma like a broken or chipped tooth, it’s important to have your dentist’s number on hand to call and ask for advice on what to do in order to get treatment as soon as possible. This will ensure the best possible outcome. Don’t delay caring for your dental health on road trips until you get home. The road trip is fleeting, but your smile will last for your lifetime, so take good care of it!

Call our Sioux Falls Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Chronic Over Breathing

Over eating may not be the problem.

We all know that our bodies need calories to live. We also know that eating more calories than we need does not improve our body’s performance. In fact most of us accept that too many calories is downright harmful. Have you ever considered that breathing is more critical to life than eating but just like over eating over breathing can be making us sick. That’s right, our bodies need to breath but too much of a good thing is making us sick,fat and fatigued.

Signs you may be over breathing

Signs you may be over breathing include sighing, moving your shoulders when you breath, breathing through your mouth, and starting your next breath as soon as you exhaled the last one. Some of the symptoms of chronic over breathing include snoring, fatigue, exercise induced asthma, allergies, type II diabetes and weight gain.

How to determine if you suffer from chronic over breathing

Here is simple test you can do yourself to see if you suffer from chronic over breathing. Sit quietly and breath normally and quietly for a minute. Then after you exhale simply pause your breathing. Start a timer on your watch or smart phone at the beginning of the pause. Stop the timer once your body desires to take the next breath. Do not confuse this with holding your breath as long as you can. You are simply looking for the amount of time it takes for you to desire taking a next breath, when you would naturally breath again if you weren’t pausing your breathing. If this time
is 20 seconds or longer you’re doing pretty well. High performance athletes routinely achieve times of closer to 40 seconds. If your time is below 10 seconds you are a chronic over breather. You most likely are suffering some significant health issues and find it difficult to lose weight even when you work at it faithfully. The good news is now that you know about it you can change it.

To learn more, Call our Sioux Falls Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.


End Your Headaches

Did you know that some headaches may actually be caused by dental issues? Dr. Nichole Cauwels and Dr. Kendra Zuercher, your Sioux Falls dentists, explain how dental treatment can help end painful headaches.

Full isolated portrait of a caucasian woman with headache

What types of dental issues can cause headaches?

Both grinding and clenching your teeth can lead to headaches. When you grind or clench, the muscles in your jaw become tight, which can cause headaches. Those tension headaches you keep getting may not be tension headaches at all, but might occur because you grind or clench your teeth.

How can I tell if I grind or clench?

Since grinding or clenching occurs while you sleep, you may not be aware that you do it. Ask a family member if he or she has ever noticed either of these behaviors while you sleep. Signs that you may be a grinder or a clencher include:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Chipped, loose or fractured teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Tight jaw muscles

What causes the problem?

Stress is one of the most common reasons people grind or clench their teeth. The problem can also occur if you have a bite issue, or drink or use substances that contain stimulants, such as tobacco, caffeine, alcohol or illegal drugs.

How can my Sioux Falls dentist help?

Your dentist may suggest that you wear a special nightguard called an occlusal guard. This custom-made night guard keeps your teeth from making contact with each other and helps protect your jaw joints from the strong forces you generate when you grind or clench your teeth.

If your dentist thinks that a bite issue is to blame for your problem, she might remove a small amount of enamel from a tooth that’s coming in contact with another tooth, recommend braces, or suggest that you replace any missing teeth to keep your teeth from shifting and affecting your bite.

Are your tired of dealing with headache pain? 

Call our Sioux Falls Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.