Archive for May, 2014
Even though the weather may not suggest that it’s summer, if you’re anything like me it doesn’t matter because the real beginning of the summer is marked by the Victoria Day Weekend….better known as May 2-4!
My most fond childhood memories are filled with long days playing in the bushes or at the beach followed by campfires and roasting marshmallows. I still love the outdoors and although my camping is not quite as luxurious as the tent trailer and provincial parks we frequented when I was a kid, instead it’s tents and bush camping for me these days.
I am a minimalist when it comes to packing for a camping trip, but I still find I need to make a list and check everything off as it goes into my bag otherwise I tend to forget the simplest of things, like a toothbrush!
If you are looking for tips and tricks for camping or things to cook over a fire that are sure to impress the crowd, talk to me at your next visit, I have a few that would really surprise you. But for today I am going to focus on your dental hygiene while you are away from the luxuries of home.
Did you know that the mint flavoring in toothpaste can actually attract bears and other critters like raccoon? So never keep your paste, brush and floss in your tent, you can pack it in with your food if it’s in a tightly sealed container as you wouldn’t want the scent to transfer. For me, in a baggie, in the glove box is where it can be found.
We all know how dirty we feel after even just one day of camping, hiking or fishing, so even if you can’t get to a shower the next best way to feel refreshed is to brush and floss thoroughly, especially if you end your day like me with ooey-gooey delicious s’mores…..yum yum!
When brushing your teeth outdoors there are a few things to keep in mind, remember when I mentioned bears? Right, well they will be attracted to the scent so be sure to hike a good 10 minutes from your site if you plan to spit your paste into the woods.
I really do recommend bringing a tightly sealed container that can be designated for spitting into. This is great for many reasons, the environment being the most important as toothpaste has chemicals in it that can be harmful to the plants as well as to small animals if it’s ingested, also, you don’t have to hike as far to deter the bears as there won’t be any residual scent left behind.
With that in mind, let’s get started:
- Moisten your toothbrush with clean water from a water bottle or other clean water source. Remember to replace the cap or lid on your bottle so you don’t end up with a mouth full of toothpaste and no way to rinse. (This is a personal tip from experience!)
- Put a small amount of toothpaste on your brush, replace the cap and put paste back into your bag. Brush thoroughly for 2 minutes. Don’t slack here be sure to get to all of your teeth, including the backs and sides.
- Tilt your head back and pour water from your bottle or canteen into your mouth in order to avoid getting toothpaste on the rim. (Remember, bears + mint = trouble!) Rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water.
- Swish the water in your mouth and spit it out. If you brought a container you can spit into that and bring it back with you, or if you do spit into the woods, it is best to spray an area as wide as you can. This keeps globs of toothpaste from ending up in the woods where a small animal might ingest it.
- Floss as usual. Be sure to take your floss with you and place in a proper trash receptacle, as this too is an environmental hazard if left behind.
Do you need to travel as light as possible, there are some great products out there that help with that. One of my personal faves is called The Toob. It’s a travel brush with a compartment for toothpaste. The bristles are soft and you can fill it with whatever paste you like. You can also replace the heads! These are great and can be purchased at Mountain Equipment Co-op for about $5, check it out here.
Another tip that I recently stumbled across, but have yet to try is to make “toothpaste dots”. Basically, you just need to put “dots” of paste on tin foil, allow these to dry for 2-4 days then sprinkle the tops with baking soda to keep them from sticking. Put as many as you need into a small bag with your travel toothbrush and when it is time to brush simply place one dot in your mouth, chew slightly, add a small amount of water and begin brushing as usual….brilliant!!
I know how exhausting camping can be and how easy it is to let your oral hygiene lapse while you’re away, but just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean all the sugars and bacteria take a vacay as well. Instead if you are anything like me you are probably nibbling all day on snacks that you wouldn’t pick up during your regular trip to the grocery store….what a treat it is to eat trail mix and gummy bears all day! This is why it is even more important to be on top of your oral hygiene while enjoying the great outdoors.
I am sure I am not alone in hoping that the weather takes a turn for the better, I love to camp but being rained on the entire time sure does put a “damper” on things (pun intended lol!).
Whether you are in a trailer or deep in the bush in a tent I hope you all have safe and awesome adventures! And remember, respect the environment and leave your area as you found it!
Please post any tips or stories you may have in the comment section below!
Do you grab whatever is on sale, stick with your tried-and-true favorite, or is it all about the color?
Whatever your decision strategy is you go home with a new toothbrush, but is it the best one for the job?
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for picking the right toothbrush for great dental hygiene.
Do always opt for soft or extra soft bristles
Brushing with anything other than a soft toothbrush will do you more harm than good. It can lead to recession, tooth and root surface abrasion and overall sensitivity. A good way to help prevent the “long-in-the-tooth” look is to stop scrubbing and always use a soft bristled brush.
Don’t buy no-name dollar store toothbrushes
I know it seems like a steal to walk away with a package of toothbrushes for a buck, but there are risks associated with this. These brushes are quite often made of inferior and possibly unsafe materials. More often than not they are produced by companies or in countries that don’t have high safety standards. Considering a toothbrush is being used inside your mouth 2+ times a day, it’s definitely worth spending a bit more and going with a reputable manufacturer.
Do find the appropriate toothbrush head and handle
Some shapes and sizes will suit your mouth better than others. Be sure that the head can reach the back of your very last molar comfortably. The handle should fit comfortably in your hand, if you suffer from any grip issues, perhaps arthritis, try opting for a wider handle, or one with rubber on the handle to avoid slipping.
Don’t be afraid of trying a powered toothbrush
There are plenty of reasons to try out a powered brush. Do you rush through your brushing; do you have an injury or arthritis? You may find a powered toothbrush easier or more comfortable to use. You may also have better luck getting your kids to brush with a fun new power brush.
Do get the right sized brush for everyone in the family
Babies need baby toothbrushes, and small children need smaller versions of adult brushes. If the brush is too big, your child will not have any success accessing all the areas in their little mouths. Don’t forget to replace everyone’s toothbrush every 3 months.
If you can’t remember when the last time you replaced your brush, then it’s probably time to pick up a new one.
If you need any advice feel free to contact us, we can help you maintain healthy dental hygiene, make the right choices and show you proper techniques as well.