Clean Teeth and The New Airline Security Regulations: What To Do When You Can't Bring Toothpaste Aboard When You Travel

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Toothpaste is no longer allowed on airplanes due to new airline security regulations and restrictions. Here are some helpful tips for people who need to keep their teeth clean when they travel in-flight.

The latest terrorist threat and the news that you cannot bring toothpaste aboard an airplane has sent some people scrambling for toothpaste alternatives during this busy travel season. Most people can deal with this new restrictions and wait until they land to brush their teeth. But for many with special dental situations such as periodontal disease, bridges, retainers, or orthodontic braces, brushing their teeth or dental appliances in-flight is a necessity.

You may be able to get a small tube of toothpaste from your flight attendant, but you shouldn't count on it. The best alternatives are to brush your teeth with plain water or buy a pre-pasted disposable toothbrush. There are plenty of types of pre-pasted toothbrushes on the market, and many of them comply with the new airline security regulations.

Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth clean in-flight:

  • If you have a short flight, consider not eating during the flight to keep your teeth cleaner.
  • Bring sugarless chewing gum, which can help freshen your breath and dislodge food particles after a meal.
  • Bring dental floss, which is not a banned substance.
  • Do not brush with or drink the water that comes out of the airplane bathroom tap. The water in airline water tanks is notoriously unsanitary. According to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency in early 2005, one out of every seven planes did not meet federal standards. The EPA found bacteria like coliform and E. coli -- which are often associated with human feces. It is better to get a cup of water from the flight crew and take it into the bathroom with you. This may be inconvenient, but it will help you to stay healthy!
  • Bring some pre-pasted disposable toothbrushes on board. The toothpaste on these brushes is a powder which is activated when it gets wet.
  • If you don't want to brush, consider using textured tooth wipes.

The website DentaKit.com carries pre-pasted disposable toothbrushes and dental floss in single-use packets. The deluxe pre-pasted ReadyBrush is $1.10 each or 30 for $27; regular non-deluxe pre-pasted toothbrushes are available for 65 cents each or 100 for $45.99.

The site specializes in premium dental items for people with braces and other dental needs. DentaKit.com ships world-wide and offers free Priority Mail shipping on US domestic orders over $59.

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Lynn S.
DENTAKIT
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