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Summer is a great time for vacations. The kids are out of school and the weather is great. You may be getting ready to pack up the car and plot the best route to an amusement park, forest, lake or beach. Or perhaps you are looking at airline fares to your favorite getaway destination. Of course, you will be dragging out the luggage and packing shorts, swimsuits and the right kinds of shoes for your destination. While you are trying to remember where you left the sunscreen last year, don’t forget to get your smile ready for your big trip.

The first thing you should do is to call our dentist, Dr. Marcus Lopez and schedule an appointment for a cleaning and exam. This will give the dentist an opportunity to clean your teeth before your vacation starts and to look for any potential problems and deal with them so they don’t spoil your trip. Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a toothache, so why not head off any dental issues before they have a chance to get any worse? While you are talking to the dentist, may sure you get one of his business cards so you can call him if you experience a dental emergency while you are away from home. Your dentist can give you advice on how to handle your problem, and possibly give you a referral to a dentist near you, if necessary.

As you pack your bags and get your toiletry supplies together, make sure that you place your toothbrush and toothpaste in a separate bag to make sure that they do not become contaminated. You may want to consider buying travel toothpaste and toothbrushes, or disposable toothbrushes that you can throw away when your trip is over. You may want to use a toothpaste that has flip top instead of a screw-on cap, which will minimize the chances of dropping the cap on a hotel bathroom counter or floor. Although people go on vacations to relax, trips often become very busy, even if they are very laid-back. Even so, you need to keep up the habit of brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day, and flossing at least once every day. If you are driving, why not brush your teeth when you make a pit stop? You can also use the time during an airport layover to brush your teeth.

Another tip for road trips is to make sure you have healthy snacks and drinks on hand. Most of us are going to enjoy some treats while we take time off, but keep some celery, carrot sticks and apple slices in the cooler, along with plenty of water. Tooth-healthy snacks can be just as fillings as junk food, and are better for your body.

If you are planning a quick getaway this summer or a major family excursion, and you want a pre-trip dental exam in Springfield, Massachusetts, we will be happy to see you at Trecker and Lopez Family Dentistry. If you would like to make an appointment, call 413-782-5159 today and we will get you in as soon as we can.