How to Keep Your Teeth and Mouth Healthy While Traveling
Health and Wellbeing

How to Keep Your Teeth and Mouth Healthy While Traveling

When you’re on the run—touring museums, hurtling down waterslides, or sailing on a catamaran—it's all too easy to ignore your teeth and gums. Chances are you’ll also be enjoying sugary sweets (and cocktails) and tempted to climb into a plush hotel bed without cleaning your mouth after a long day. We get it—it’s easy to skip regular oral hygiene routines while traveling. But that's a bad idea, with consequences that can include painful cavities and high dental bills. Instead of taking a vacation from taking care of your mouth, stock up on oral health supplies before you head out on holiday. Here’s our go-to checklist for everything you and your family need for oral healthcare on the go, from the best electric toothbrush to a sanitizing toothbrush cover to coconut oil pullers. Put your money where your mouth is.

See recent posts by Wendy Helfenbaum

The Best Travel Toothbrushes


Best Travel Toothbrush Overall

Quip Electric Toothbrush
Quip Electric Toothbrush

Quip changed the electric travel toothbrush game for good when it launched in 2015. The slim, chic oral care system (available in four refined metal colors) is ready to go when you are. It comes in several handy sets—including one for couples and one for children—and also offers subscriptions for a fresh brush head every three months (no more guesstimating when you last swapped out your toothbrush). The brush features soft, rounded bristles and there's a tongue scraper on the back of the head for a gentle yet thorough cleaning. The brush pulses every 30 seconds to remind you to change mouth quadrants—a convenient way to make sure you brush adequately. The stand transforms into a travel case, making the Quip toothbrush ideal for travel.

$40 at Quip

Best Gum Brush

GUM -210 - Sulcus Toothbrush
GUM-210 Sulcus Toothbrush 

On sensitive gums, a regular toothbrush can feel like torture. If brushing your teeth is painful, switch to a specialized toothbrush, like the GUM Sulcus, that gently yet efficiently removes plaque while reaching below the gum line. The GUM Sulcus brush features two rows of ultra-soft bristles, a configuration that limits contact with inflamed gums so they don’t bleed every time you brush. Using a smaller brush head is also smart if you’ve had lots of dental work, wear braces, or have receding gums. Bonus: The brush head’s super slim shape allows you to clean narrow, hard-to-reach areas in your mouth, heading off gum disease before you head to the beach.

$8.40 (three-pack) at Amazon

Best Electronic Travel Toothbrush

Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Battery Powered Electric Toothbrush
Oral-B Pro-Health Precision Clean

Want to pack light with an oral care system that packs a punch? Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque and stains than a manual toothbrush, but charging stations can be a pain to pack. The Oral-B Pro-Health Precision Clean electronic toothbrush is battery-powered, so you don’t need to cram a charging station into your carry-on bag. The Oral-B uses a powerful, yet gentle, rotating brush head with soft crisscrossing bristles that vibrate between teeth to break up plaque. The two-minute timer and non-slip rubberized handle make brushing easier, too. Overall, you get effective cleaning action fast—so you can get out the door and enjoy the watersports at your all-inclusive resort.

$12.99 at Amazon

Best Eco-Friendly Travel Toothbrush

Woobamboo Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable, Sustainable, Stylish Bamboo Toothbrush
WooBamboo Medium Adult Toothbrush

Instead of contributing to the billions of discarded plastic toothbrushes headed to the landfills, choose eco-friendly, stylish toothbrushes made by WooBamboo. The family-owned business believes each smile can make a difference to protect the planet. These toothbrushes are crafted from biodegradable, BPA-free, sustainably grown bamboo handles that are naturally anti-microbial and ergonomically curved to fit your hand. WooBamboo offers three handle sizes, plus different bristle strengths and fun colors for kids, so everyone in the family can help save the earth. Bonus: WooBamboo brushes are packaged using recycled materials and post-consumer waste.

$8.99 (two-pack) at Amazon

Best Luxury Travel Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Tooth Brush
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Tooth Brush

A triple-digit price tag for a toothbrush might seem like a lot to swallow, but the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 is more like a professional dental cleaning (for a family of four) than an average toothbrush. Past users have called it "the toothbrush of the future." This little gadget packs a lot of wallop: sonic technology, four brushing modes (clean, white+, gum health, and deep clean) and four brush heads. Smart sensors pair the toothbrush with a free app that provides personalized feedback and tips for how to brush better, and the visual pressure sensor alerts the user to when they're brushing too hard. Past users have reported stain and plaque removal after just a few days of use, and as for taking it on the road, the USB charging travel case is very handy.

$239.99 at Target

Best Disposable Travel Toothbrush

Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrush
Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrush

At just a dollar each, this value pack of four Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrushes is a budget-friendly must-have, whether you’re on a road trip or taking an hours-long train ride between European cities. The brush head is designed to clean hard to reach areas and the round bristles are gentle. It’s always smart to pack extra oral care supplies, and if you happen to drop one of these super affordable toothbrushes on a dirty hotel floor (it happens!), you won’t think twice about tossing it and replacing it with a clean brush. Pro tip: Tuck a few of these toothbrushes into your family’s carry-on bags, so you can all keep your mouths clean and your breath fresh on long-haul flights and road trips. Just think how happy your dentist will be at your next check-up. 

$3.99 (four-pack) at Walgreens

Best Affordable Travel Toothbrush

 G-U-M Folding Travel Toothbrush, Soft Assorted
G-U-M Folding Travel Toothbrush

The more compact your toothbrush is, the more likely you’ll keep it handy and use it while traveling. G-U-M’s Folding Travel Toothbrush comes in a package of two, for less than $3, making it a no-brainer on your vacation packing list. The tri-fold design also does double-duty: The brush head folds into the handle, which then becomes a storage case. Multi-level anti-bacterial bristles offer an economical way to deep clean between teeth. Bonus: It also has a tongue cleaner to gently scrape off bacteria that causes bad breath. Toss it into your purse, daypack, or even in a pocket for on-the-go brushing. 

$2.99 (for two) at Walgreens

Best Travel Toothbrush for Kids

Crest Kids Sesame Street Soft Toothbrush
Crest Kids Sesame Street Soft Toothbrush

If you’re like most parents, reminding (okay, maybe nagging) your kids to brush their teeth is a twice-daily pain—especially on vacation. That’s why encouraging (okay, maybe bribing) kids to brush is easier with Crest’s Kids Sesame Street Soft Toothbrushes. With a handle designed for little hands, and extra gentle bristles to gently clean tiny teeth, this toothbrush is perfect for pint-sized travelers ages 1 through 5 who are learning to take care of their teeth. Plus, what child will refuse to brush along with Elmo, the Cookie Monster, or Bert and Ernie? 

$1.79 at Walgreens

Best Toothbrush Travel Case

Steripod Clip-on Toothbrush Protector (Blue & Red)
Steripod Toothbrush Sanitizers

At home, it’s easy to stand your toothbrush upright after each brushing, giving it plenty of time and space between uses to dry thoroughly. But when you’re scrambling to pack up your toiletries in order to catch a plane or a cruise ship, you’ll need to quickly pack your damp toothbrush. The best bet for keeping it clean and free of germs? A protective container that eliminates germs. Enter the Steripod Toothbrush Sanitizer. It's a BPA-free toothbrush protector that works using active vapors to sanitize your bristles. Available in a convenient family-sized four-pack, the protectors clip on to any standard manual or electric toothbrush and are treated with a laboratory-formulated thymol compound that keeps your brush fresh and clean for up to three months. How cool is that? 

$6.99 (four-pack) at Amazon

The Best Travel Toothpastes


Best Travel Toothpaste Overall

Crest Pro-Health Advanced Gum Protection Toothpaste 0.85 oz
Crest Pro-Health Advanced Gum Protection Toothpaste

Instead of relying on whatever no-name sample of toothpaste your hotel might provide, bring along a handy tube of Crest Pro-Health Advanced Gum Protection Toothpaste. Because you’ll likely be indulging in sugary desserts, soft drinks, and other potentially tooth-damaging treats while on vacation, the deep cleaning formula provides more protection against plaque, bacteria, and tartar with ingredients to keep gums healthy, teeth bright, and breath extra-fresh. Plus, it contains ActivClean crystals to prevent stains (we're looking at you, red wine and coffee) from forming. Pro tip: If you’re visiting an area where the water’s not safe to drink, don’t brush your teeth with it, either. Use bottled or boiled water instead.

$18.05 (10-pack) at Amazon

Best Natural Travel Toothpaste

Natural Toothpaste Antiplaque & Whitening Fluoride-Free Travel Size Peppermint - 1 oz
Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste Antiplaque & Whitening Fluoride-Free

If you prefer cleaning your teeth with natural ingredients, pick up a travel-size tube of Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste. Not only does it use xylitol, a natural ingredient derived from birch trees, to control tartar and prevent plaque buildup, it also whitens teeth with silica, a stain remover that doesn’t contain harsh abrasive cleaners. If you want your kids to brush with fluoride-free toothpaste, this is a good option for the young travelers in your gang. Tuck one of these Tom's toothpastes into everyone’s backpack for happy smiles all vacation long.

$1.23 at Lucky Vitamin

Best Travel Toothpaste for Kids

Spry Xlear Spry Tooth Gel with Xylitol, Strawberry Banana
Spry Xlear Spry Tooth Gel with Xylitol 

It’s challenging enough to convince kiddos to brush regularly (especially between visits with Mickey Mouse or jumps in the pool on vacation) without worrying that they’ll accidentally swallow toothpaste and harm themselves. So reach for Spry Tooth Gel, a fluoride-free option that’s safe enough to swallow, so no worries if your child hasn’t learned how to spit it out yet. Recommended for children ages 3 months and older, the toothpaste contains xylitol, which provides calcium to build strong teeth as your child’s mouth matures. Available in yummy natural flavors such as strawberry banana and bubble gum, this toothpaste will get your kids excited about brushing (well, we have to keep the faith, right?)

$13.14 (three-pack) at Amazon

Best Whitening Travel Toothpaste

Jason Powersmile Travel Size Toothpaste, Peppermint with Deep Sea Spearmint
Jason Natural Cosmetics PowerSmile Toothpaste

What should you pack in your toiletry bag when you want whiter teeth but not at the expense of possibly damaging your enamel? Boost your mouth’s wow factor with Jason Natural Cosmetic’s PowerSmile toothpaste, which whitens teeth using natural bamboo, calcium carbonate, and silica as whitening polishers. Another ingredient, perilla seed, helps block sugar acids from bonding with minerals in your saliva that cause tartar to form on teeth. To freshen breath, PowerSmile also uses essential peppermint oil. Bonus: It contains no sodium lauryl sulphate, so if you’re prone to canker sores, it won’t burn when you brush your teeth. 

$5.98 (two-pack) at Amazon

The Best Travel Floss

Spearmint Antiplaque Flat Floss by Tom's of Maine
Tom’s of Maine Spearmint Antiplaque Flat Floss

Your dentist has probably mentioned that brushing needs to be paired with flossing for complete oral hygiene. You need to floss at least once a day to remove tartar from tooth surfaces and below the gum line to protect your mouth against gingivitis and other gum disease. Although it won’t take up much room in your suitcase, you’ll want your dental floss to earn its keep in your luggage, so don't leave home without Tom’s of Maine Spearmint Antiplaque Flat Floss. Made with three natural waxes and flavored with pure mint oils, this floss is actually a flat ribbon, so it’s much easier on your gums as you slide it between your teeth. And, it won’t shred or break as easily as regular floss.

$4.84 at Smallflower Modern Apothecary

The Best Travel Whitening Strips

Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional White Teeth Whitening Kit - 20ct
Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional White Teeth Whitening Kit

If you’re sharing destination wedding photos or beach selfies on social media, you’ll want your teeth to shine bright. So tote along Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional White Teeth Whitening Kit, which contains 20 upper strips and 20 lower strips. To use, simply peel off the backing, apply the strips to your teeth and do whatever you need to do for 30 minutes (just avoid eating and drinking during this time). When 30 minutes is up, peel the strips off and brush or rinse your mouth. Sure, there are cheaper strips on the market, but they don't adhere to your teeth as evenly, causing irregular bleaching and overall discomfort. Pro tip: stick a few whitening strips in your dopp kit instead of lugging the entire package with you. You’ll likely to see results after just one use, and Crest also offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with your dazzling smile.

$44.99 at Target

The Best Travel Oil Pullers

Kopari Coco Oil Pullers
Kopari Coconut Oil Pullers

Oil pulling has been a growing trend since it made lots of wellness headlines in 2014, yet this oral therapy originates with traditional Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years. The concept is simple: Swish about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for around 15 minutes and spit it out (in the garbage, please, or you'll clog your sink pipes). The idea is that coconut oil not only fights bacteria naturally, it also contains lauric acid, which has anti-microbial agents that can prevent tooth decay by reducing plaque. You could use a jar of organic coconut oil, but when you're on the road, it's much easier (and cleaner, no spills) to pack a handful of Kopari's Coco Oil Puller packets. Each pouch contains the perfect single-use amount of pure, sustainably sourced coconut oil from the Philippine Islands. The pullers are vegan, non-GMO, and formulated without fluoride or silicone to naturally clean your mouth and freshen your breath. Pleasant flavors include Coco Mint, Coco Colada, and Coco Vanilla. Think of oil pullers as a thicker mouthwash that are a key step for holistic health.

$28 at Kopari

The Best Oral Hygiene Travel Kit

Kopari Personal Care Trial Kit
Kopari It's Personal Kit

If you're the type of traveler who just wants to throw a high quality oral hygiene travel kit into your bag without thinking too much, then we suggest Kopari's It's Personal Kit. This all-natural, custom kit includes three coconut oil pullers (see above on benefits of oil pulling), coconut charcoal toothpaste, and a bamboo toothbrush tucked inside a cute see-through travel bag. Everything is travel-size and eco-friendly. For instance, the bamboo toothbrush is BPA-free and biodegradable. Don't be surprised by the black toothpaste, that's thanks to the charcoal ingredient, for all-natural whitening and enamel strengthening. And as a fun gift, you also get a small tube of coconut deodorant, making this kit an ideal companion for staying fresh and clean on an overnight flight.

$25 at Kopari


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