Amber Ojak gives some simple tips to give patients so they can maintain a good oral health routine whilst on holiday.
Now that restrictions have eased and we are able to get on a plane once more, the typical holiday phrases are popping up again.
The common: ‘I didn’t take my electric toothbrush’ or ‘I ran out of interdental brushes’ are appearing more and more when patients come in to see me for their dental hygiene appointments.
I think we can all understand how nice it is to travel again. And how we will appreciate these moments more than ever.
But getting our patients to realise this doesn’t mean a holiday for our oral health too can be a struggle.
Firstly, the electric toothbrush saga is the biggest obstacle.
Many patients comment that taking their electric toothbrush abroad means it will run out of charge or it will be too heavy in the case.
I find writing down adaptor plugs and where to get them is a good tip to give patients. Even if their toothbrush runs out of charge, they can power it back up again no matter where they go. There’s no excuse.
I always gently remind patients that relying on a manual toothbrush abroad if they have been used to using an electric toothbrush will not help their oral health for the few weeks they are away.
It can potentially break good brushing habits. There are no pressure sensors or timers on manual brushes.
Not only does the power situation crop up, but patients also say transporting the brush abroad can also be a struggle.
There are many toothbrush case options out there on the market. I tend to sign post patients to these if the brush hasn’t come with one on purchase.
Secondly, the most common comment I receive is: ‘There may be more build up because I have been away and didn’t floss’.
I talk to patients about how they can still incorporate their flossing routines/interdental brushes even if they are away.
Reminding patients that they can floss at any point of the day. With the reintroduction of sunning ourselves abroad, there’s no reason we cannot take a few minutes on a sunbed to floss or use our interdental brushes.
‘What if people stare at me’ is what I get back. So I gently remind patients that if their oral health surprises the on lookers then they are winning in that situation.
I also remind patients that there are pharmacies abroad that sell dental products. So if they do run out, they can easily be replaced.
Travel toothpaste tubes
Lastly, the toothpaste.
How many patients come into our surgeries and ask to take some samples because they are good for travel? Nearly all of them.
With this in mind, I try to keep samples of toothpastes that I always recommend to patients or that patients rely on so that they can continue using their products whilst they are away too.
For example, for patients with sensitivity, I try to keep samples of toothpaste like Sensodyne or Oral B Calm. That way they are not going away without a toothpaste that can specifically help them.
This also ensures patients are taking toothpaste with them because it is extraordinary how many people do forget.
It means they don’t need to worry about extra weight in their suitcases.
Catch up with previous Oral Health Highlights
- Let’s talk about the tongue
- Looking at the bigger picture
- Putting patients back into the driving seat
- Reflecting on 2021’s lessons.
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