Getting out in nature is absolutely amazing but we do not have to forget our oral health while roughing it. There are some easy steps to getting the oral care you need and not skimping on the outside fun. The first thing you need to consider is where you are going and how are you going to pack. If you are heading to the “great outdoors” but sleep in a hotel or RV kind of person you really need to just pack as you normally would. The toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash combo will work just fine. You will have a reliable source of water and plumbing so there is really nothing new there.

However, if you are planning on staying in a tent or under the stars you will have to consider some things that may not automatically come to mind. First of all is a source of water. In the woods, you may have a source of flowing water near but there is no way to know if it is safe or not without some water testing equipment. You can purchase these from sporting goods stores and online.

If you do find a good source of water then even if it tests clean you might want to boil or use a water filter to clear up the taste. If you find it is not safe you just need add some purification tablets to it and if you want to it can be boiled as well. Of course, if you have the ability to carry your own source of water in with you.

When you pack out from any camping site it is important to remember to as the Boy Scouts say “Leave No Trace” or pack in pack out. This means you try to leave nothing behind but your bootprints. One way to accomplish this is to bring small-sized garbage can liners and gallon-size zip-top bags. You pack all your used tissues, old dental floss and even the remains of your rinse with you to be thrown away later. We know this may sound gross but is safer for the animals and the environment of the park or reserve in which you are staying.

No matter where you stay for your outdoor adventure good oral hygiene is still a must. If you are going to be unable brush and floss your teeth for few hours, wash your mouth out with water after you eat but do brush as soon as you can to help reduce bacteria growth in your mouth. In the long term you will thank yourself for all the extra care you took to maintain good oral care. Just because you are roughing it doesn’t not mean you have to be rough on your teeth.

Hope you all had a great time this past summer! We love to see your happy, healthy smiles around here. We strive to give you the very best in dental care and news so come back often and see what is happening at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics!


Dr Sam Burrow D.D.S., D.M.D. – Dr. Burrow was born in Charlotte and moved to Charleston to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Biology at the College of Charleston. He graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and then stayed to earn a D.M.D. with honors at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Burrow completed his orthodontic residency at University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan and is now in practice with his father at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics in the Charlotte area.