The first time I traveled overnight as a denture wearer was around four months after getting my dentures. My husband and I took a road trip from Jacksonville, FL to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I was a little nervous about the idea of traveling away from home. Traveling with dentures can throw one out of their comfort zone but it doesn’t have to so long as you properly plan in advance.
Get a check-up before you go
It’s always better to err on the side of caution. You should always keep up with your annual dental checkups. If has been more than six months since your last trip to the dentist, it’s best to get that taken care of prior to taking an extended trip. You want to make sure that your dentures are not only fitting properly, but that there are no fractures in your dentures. The last thing you want is to reach your destination and have your denture crack while you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away from your dentist. Your dentist will be able to check you out and make sure there are no issues going on which could cause problems with your dentures while you’re gone.
Lost luggage is no joke. Things happen. When I took a trip to Chicago to give a presentation for Ivoclar’s More than a Denture convention, my luggage was lost for 24 hours. Purchase a small travel case that can fit in your purse or carryon luggage and keep the essentials in that. TSA has restrictions on dental hygiene items that can be stored in carryon luggage, such as mouthwash, denture adhesive, and toothpaste, so be sure to check with their website to be sure your carryon items are permissible. But you can certainly keep a toothbrush and a denture container. A toothbrush and regular water can be used to keep your mouth as clean as possible until you have access to mouthwash. Listerine, breath strips, sprays, or mints wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. Also, most hotels offer courtesy items in the event that you forget something or your luggage gets lost. You could give the hotel a call in advance and ask what items are available just in case you are without your luggage (like I was).
Plan your meals in advance
If you know ahead of time what restaurants you will be eating at, see if they have an online menu so you can plan your meals in advance. You don’t want to risk ordering something that is really difficult to chew or anything that could fracture or break your dentures. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad and aren’t familiar with their dishes. Try to at least get an idea as to what sort of meals you’ll be able to eat with ease so you A) don’t starve and B) don’t break your dentures.
Things to pack
- A container to soak your dentures (Amazon has some denture cases for traveling which safely fits your dentures, as well as a denture brush inside)
- A denture brush
- A small wash cloth (toddler washcloths are smaller, thinner, and will ultimately take up less room)
- Travel sized mouthwash
- Denture adhesive
- Soaking tablets
- Breath mints
- Travel size container of dish soap (to clean dentures)
Dentures are expensive as it is. I get it. But things do happen, traveling or not. If you’re in the position to do so, it might be a good idea to look into a cheaper set of dentures to have on hand as a backup in the event something happens to yours. If your dentures break while you are traveling, they would certainly come in handy. But, also, if your dentures break while you are local, they usually have to be sent to the lab for repairs and if your dentist’s lab is not in-house, you may have to go a short period of time without teeth. Talk with your dentist and see if they offer any special discounts on a second set of dentures.