We’ve all seen those airline ads: a glamorous passenger lounging in her First Class seat, being waited on hand and foot. For most of us, however, we tend to turn right upon entering the plane to face the endurance test of playing squashed sardines for hours, trapped in an aluminium canister with hundreds of strangers.
Try as you might, kicking the seat in front of you isn’t going to help your legroom situation. And unless you want to start doling out money for expensive eye-masks, good quality noise-cancelling earphones, personal beanbag or blow-up pillows, or dragging along spare clothes to change into upon arrival, it’s hard to land at your destination feeling like anything other than a disheveled old rag.
Luckily, the team at Dental O So Gentle has some good air-mileage between them and can offer some handy tips for walking off the plan feeling refreshed. Believe it or not, it’s all about the mouth.
Of course, dental hygiene is vital every day of the year and waking up with morning breath is horrible no matter what altitude you’re at. But when you’re on a plane, it can be super helpful in helping to turn around your experience.
Always think about bringing a little bag of toiletries – it doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs the following dental essentials:
A little foldable, mini or even a normal toothbrush is a must! Sometimes the airlines will provide their own, but we wouldn’t bet our bottom molars on the quality of those generic bristles. Pack your own toothbrush and make sure you use it!
Just like normal tooth-brushing, if you know you’re going to attempt to whittle away the time by sleeping, make sure you brush your teeth before to avoid plaque build up. Once you wake up or before the plane lands, go back and brush again. This will leave you feeling hugely refreshed and your teeth and gums will thank you for it.
This might seem obvious – but I’ve had my fair share of toothpaste-less flights. Again, while the airline might provide small tubes of toothpaste, you might want to bring your own travel-sized tube.
If you’re worried about finding a security-approved size of toothpaste, when you’re next at Dental O So Gentle for a hygiene appointment make sure to hold on to your goodie bag. We also pack a small tube of toothpaste inside that’s perfect for taking on flights.
What is a flossette, you may ask. They’re little packs of dental floss that are easier to pack and carry onto a plane. Few things are worse for your comfort – or your oral health – than having semi-digestible plane food stuck in between your teeth.
You might be flying above the clouds heaven-like, but you should take extra precaution to treat your teeth with the same angelic precision, as you would down on the ground. Make sure you floss during your flight.
A pack of mint gum is a true lifesaver when it comes to feeling refreshed on a flight. Of course, some people use gum to counteract the effect of changing air pressure during takeoff and landing as well.
We strongly suggest that you use sugarless gum. That way not only are you going to protect your teeth from cavities but you can have as many pieces as are necessary to ensure that your journey is a pleasant one.
Okay – so we’re cheating a bit here. You don’t need to pack water yourself but once you’re on the plane, don’t be shy when it comes to asking for water. Usually airlines will provide small bottles during the flight, but they’ll be glad to provide extra upon request.
Hydration is vital in general, especially when sitting on a plane, and water helps to keep your mouth clean by washing away sugars and excess food, preventing dry mouth and offers a healthy alternative to the abundance of sugary drinks on offer from the beverage trolleys.
So next time you’re packing for that exciting holiday, don’t forget to spare a thought for the small dental essentials. It can make all the difference in helping you walk off the plane with a smile that radiates across the Arrivals Hall!
By Annemie Van Osch, Dentist