Do you plan on going camping this summer?
Camping is a great way to connect with nature and spend meaningful time with family and friends. However, keeping a good oral health routine isn’t always easy while enjoying the wilderness.
It’s important to keep your mouth happy and healthy while camping by packing tooth-friendly food and maintaining a consistent oral health routine.
Tooth-friendly food and drinks for camping
When shopping for groceries for your camping trip, some traditional outdoor favorites should be limited to keep your mouth and body healthy. Instead of loading up on sugar-filled foods and drinks, try some of the items below:
Pack plenty of water
Water is an essential camping item. You need it to stay hydrated, first and foremost, but you also use it to cook and clean while enjoying the great outdoors. Water also happens to be a great replacement for soda and other sugary drinks. When packing your bags, be sure to fill up a water bottle with fluoridated tap water. According to the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois Chicago, “Drinking water with fluoride, which is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.” Not only does water help fight cavities, but it increases saliva production and washes away excess food in the mouth.
Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption and camping tend to go together, but your mouth will thank you if it’s done in moderation.
Alcohol causes dry mouth and increases the risk of periodontal disease, and the sugar and acid in alcoholic drinks break down teeth enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth. This breakdown can increase the risk of developing cavities, and regular alcohol use is known to increase the risk of developing oral cancer.
Avoid overconsumption and try limiting the amount of sugar in your alcoholic beverage. Mix in some water and be safe and responsible when drinking alcohol while camping.
Looking for a drink that won’t ruin your teeth? Check out this blog for a tooth-friendly cocktail recipe.
Choose red meat to strengthen teeth
Red meat is full of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Iron, a mineral responsible for red blood cell production, is particularly important. Low iron levels can lead to anemia, a condition that may increase the risk of developing oral health problems like periodontal disease. Additionally, red meat serves as a valuable source of vitamin B12. Individuals lacking in vitamin B12 may experience symptoms such as mouth and tongue soreness, among others.
Although nutritious, keep moderation in mind when consuming red meat as eating it in excess can increase other health risks.
Nuts make for a convenient and nutritious snack option every day, and that’s even more true when camping. Many nuts and seeds contain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen and protect teeth. Cashews, for instance, serve as an excellent source of phosphorus, a mineral crucial for teeth and bone health. Like calcium, phosphorus helps build strong teeth and bone structures. Additionally, peanuts and almonds are rich in calcium, while the latter also has vitamin E, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can also reduce the impact of periodontitis.
Don’t forget fruits and veggies
Tooth-friendly fruits are a perfect dessert after a long and hot day. Eating pears and apples can help keep your teeth free from food debris and bacteria, and they also increase saliva production, “which can neutralize the citric and malic acids left behind in your mouth.”
Carrots, celery, and other crunchy veggies are fantastic options for cleaning plaque and freshening breath as well.
As you can see, there are a variety of nutritious snack alternatives that you can use when camping. Now that you know what nourishing food to pack, it’s time to talk about your oral health routine while camping.
Oral health products and routine while camping
It may seem difficult to follow a consistent oral health care routine while camping due to access to running water or keeping oral health products in a clean area. However, it’s important to keep your mouth and teeth clean every day.
Consider these camping-friendly oral health products the next time you opt for some time spent outdoors:
Have you heard of toothpaste dots? A staple of backpackers, they make brushing your teeth while camping easy by eliminating the need to bring a tube of toothpaste. Toothpaste dots are lightweight and ideal for long camping trips.
Keep your regular toothbrush at home and opt for one that can survive time spent outdoors. Remember, toothbrushes should be stored in an upright position, where they can air dry, even when camping. We also recommend bringing a toothbrush case to keep the bristles free from dirt and debris. Over time, germs and bacteria build up on toothbrushes, therefore it’s important to clean your toothbrush after every camping trip and to replace it every three to four months.
It’s vital to floss while camping because flossing can clean places in your mouth that a toothbrush cannot. Flossing teeth is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth, but make sure the floss is disposed of properly because traditional dental floss is not eco-friendly.
Good oral health care while camping is possible
Don’t let outdoor living get in the way of a clean and healthy mouth. Packing proper oral health products and tooth-friendly foods and following our oral health tips will help prioritize your oral health no matter where your adventures take you!
Looking for more oral health tips? Check out this blog: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance?