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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Dental Care Tips For When You Are Traveling

Traveling can be a lot of fun for your family, but an extended trip can also impact everyone's regular dental care routine. Before packing your bags and setting off on your adventure, make sure you read these tips to ensure that everyone's smiles still look good at the end of the trip.

Tip #1: Make a Pre-Trip Visit

Visiting the dentist before you leave is a good idea if you will be gone for an extended period or traveling abroad. You can schedule everyone's normal checkups if they are coming due, or just request a quick checkup if it is between normal visits. This is because issues like loose crowns and fillings, a cracked or chipped tooth, or adjustments of retainers must be attended to before you leave. Taking the time to visit your dentist lets them catch and repair any of these issues so you won't be surprised by them while on the road.

Tip #2: Pack a Care Kit

Make sure everyone has their own personal dental care kit in their luggage. These kits should be in carry-on bags if you are flying, so that you won't be searching for a toothbrush if your luggage is lost. Each kit should contain each of the following:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush

  • A small tube of toothpaste (Less than 3.4 ounces for plane travel)

  • Floss, or flossing picks

  • Any prescribed treatments, like fluoride treatments

  • Mouthwash (Also less than 3.4 ounces in size for plane travel)

You can pack larger tubes of toothpaste in your checked luggage if you are flying. Pack these items in a zip-top bag just in case there is any leakage while you travel.

Tip #3: Mind the Water

Although it's not usually a concern in the United States, drinking water can be a concern in some foreign countries. While most travelers remember not to drink the water, you also need to avoid it when brushing your teeth each morning and evening. Make sure everyone has a bottle of water with their dental care kit once you reach your destination. This way they won't forget and use faucet water out of habit when they go to brush their teeth.

Tip #4: Ask About Dental Networks

If you have insurance coverage and you are staying in your home country, a quick phone call to your insurer can give you access to a local dentist that is within your insurance network if an emergency happens while you are on the road. For those without insurance, ask your dentist if they belong to any nationwide networks. These networks typically consist of dental discount programs that save you money on everything from routine care to emergency visits. Joining such a network can save you a lot of money and make it easier to find a dentist, if you need dental care while on the road. Even better, the program will continue to save you cash once you are back home.

Contact a center like Eden Prairie Dental Care for more information.