Enjoy national camping month with a healthy mouth
SUMMARY: Camping is a great way to enjoy the summer, and you can take a few simple steps to ensure you're not putting your oral health in jeopardy.
Posted: June 24, 2013
June might be on its way out, but there is still time to take advantage of National Camping Month. Pack up your hiking shoes, bring along the kids and take some time away from computer and tablet screens this summer by becoming one with nature. Whether you're a pro at roughing it or you're in the mood for a whole new experience without today's modern amenities, camping can be a great way to bond with family and friends. While you will probably head back home a bit grimy, you should make sure that you're not ignoring your kid's oral health, or your own for that matter, when you're sleeping under the stars.
Rinse it out
Mouthwash can be a great tool for camping because it doesn't require water or any other tools. Always make sure you have a bottle on hand. You should purchase an alcohol-free solution that is safe for the entire family to use. While mouthwash doesn't replace brushing, you can use a rinse after meals and other times during the day when brushing and flossing isn't very practical. Alcohol-free mouthwash can be very effective when used for about one minute. This oral rinse will keep bacteria in the mouth to a minimum and bad breath at bay.
A quick refresher
Let's face it: When you're camping it's probably unlikely that you will be able to brush as often as you'd like. However, it can be helpful to have fresh breath mints or gum to avoid dry mouth and keep your entire mouth fresh. Try TheraBreath's ZOX Mints that neutralize the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. Other gum and mints simply mask bad breath, but these fresheners contain a zinc/oxygen/xylitol formula that stimulates saliva flow and eliminates bad breath. Now that's something the entire family can be happy about!
Sometimes we underestimate the power of a glass of water. When camping, it is easy to get dehydrated from hiking or doing other outdoor activities. Since you're not sticking to your normal everyday schedule, it can be hard to remember to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. However, staying hydrated is incredibly important for your overall and oral health. Your kid's oral health can benefit from having a refillable water bottle on hand at all times. Bring along a few gallons of clean water to reduce waste and fill up plastic or aluminum bottles while you are camping. If you have water within arm's reach, you'll be much more likely to drink an appropriate amount throughout the day.
Keep it healthy
When you're camping, there are certain foods that just seem appropriate. While standard camping cuisine is generally not the healthiest, you should make sure to include a few nutritious snacks for the trip. Fruit is always great to have around when camping because it can be eaten while hiking, out on a boat, laying on the beach or just hanging out at your site. Fruits like apples, bananas, raspberries and blueberries can easily be eaten on-the-go. Make sure you have plenty of these vitamin-packed items before leaving. In fact, why not replace potato chips with fruit in general?
Chips may seem like a quick and easy snack to have while camping, but it can actually be a very difficult food to keep away from bugs and other pests. You also won't have to worry as much about waste if you are reducing the amount of wrappers at your campsite by eating more fruits.