Being away from home is rough. On top of living remotely and dealing with distance from family, friends and loved ones you quickly realize simple tasks can be much more difficult away from home. Oral care is one of those, but dismissing it for 13 weeks simply isn’t an option. Below we’ll look at some handy tips to keep your smile in shape as you travel the world.
Avoid the Temptation: Don’t Give in to Junk Food
Eating right at home is tough enough. Doing it on the road is even harder. Depending on your accommodations, cooking for yourself might not even be an option and with long hours, the temptation for tasty but greasy fast food flares up.
We all know regular, proper brushing is essential to a healthy smile, but we often forget that diet is equally as important (if not more) to healthy teeth. Our teeth lose minerals over the course of the day due to the activity of bacteria in our mouth; our teeth rely on the nutrients in our food to restore the minerals lost during the day, which strengthens the enamel and protects the dental tissue. The most important nutrients for our teeth are found in fruits and vegetables, but unfortunately not in the simple and easy fast food you’ll find yourself presented with on a regular basis.
Injecting some fruit and vegetables into our diet regularly will not only help your waistline but it’ll help your gum line too. Challenge yourself to eat at least one vegetable per meal or at minimum choose the healthier of the two options you’ve got in front of you. Also, don’t forget the power of meal prep Saturday/Sunday. Even if you don’t have a great kitchen, a little bit of prep for the week can go a long way.
Get an Electric Toothbrush
Let’s face it: mornings can be hectic. Sometimes that extra minute of brushing is the difference between late or on-time and even if it isn’t, getting your not-yet-awake-zombie self to take proper care of your teeth can be tough. And that’s only if you get a morning, which oftentimes doesn’t even happen.
An electric toothbrush helps with this in two ways. First is the timer. Nearly every electric toothbrush on the market comes with a built-in two minute timer to ensure you’re brushing for the dentist recommended 120 seconds. Yes, an iPhone timer works just as well but it’s an extra step in the process and often times that gets left out in the wee hours of the morning, especially if you’re trying to multitask. Having that built-in timer makes things just a bit easier.
The second is technique.
Brushing properly with a manual toothbrush isn’t as simple as some people think. Using an electric toothbrush takes all the guesswork out of technique and is nearly guaranteed to give your teeth an excellent clean time and time again. Being on the road working crazy hours can cause you to forget or skip brushing sessions. Making sure that each time you brush you get a perfect clean can be the difference between healthy teeth and significant tooth decay.
If you spring for the fancier of the brush options you start getting some really cool perks like sonic brushing action, quadrant timers, and advanced brush modes. These often aren’t necessary for keeping your teeth clean, healthy, and white, but they can make the process a bit easier and more effective.
If you decide to up your toothbrush game with some electronics, make sure you remember to bring along an extra brush head. Brush heads for electric toothbrushes need to be replaced every 2-3 months, which will likely be a bit shorter than your time on the road.
Remember The Dentist
Constantly being on the road makes it really easy to forget your twice-yearly dentist check-up. If you don’t go when you’re home, you’re probably not going to go when you’re out on assignment. As such, it’s crucial to make sure you remember to schedule your visit when you’ve got time. It’ll only take an hour and it’ll ensure that your teeth are clean, strong, and in working order.
Our last piece of advice isn’t focused on protecting your mouth but rather using it. Being away from home is difficult, working long hours is stressful, and living in a new and different place can be ostracizing. The life of a traveling nurse can be incredibly tough sometimes and it’s important to remember to find happiness wherever you can.
And smiling more isn’t just about trying to be happier or finding delight in unexpected places. Studies show that the more you smile, the happier you are. It’s not the result of happiness as much as it’s the cause.
There’s no doubt this can be tough sometimes, but if you’re a traveling nurse, you’re likely used to a challenge.
Even though you may have a lot of other things on your mind while you’re roaming the globe, it’s still important to take care of yourself, and your oral health is part of that. There are a lot of dangers for your teeth that are inherent to the travel lifestyle, so follow these tips to keep your teeth and yourself happy and healthy!