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Can You Take An Electric Toothbrush On A Plane?

According to current TSA air travel regulations, electric toothbrushes are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.  This applies to electric toothbrushes that use removable batteries as well as non-removable rechargeable batteries.

Electric Toothbrushes On A Plane.

I personally take my electric toothbrush with me everywhere. I love how clean my teeth feel when using an electric toothbrush, and it is just as easy to bring an electric toothbrush with me as a manual brush.  In my opinion, there is no reason to not bring an electric toothbrush during travel.  Most have relatively small traveling cases and headcovers.  As long as I remember to charge it fully before a long trip, there are no other considerations to deter me.

Carry-On v Check-In

I always pack my electric toothbrush in my carry-on bag so that I can brush after meals in the airports or on long flights.  When my husband and I travel together, we simply pack two brush heads and a single toothbrush base to save space.  Many brands have travel cases that hold one base and multiple heads for just that purpose.  Sleeping on an airplane is difficult enough.  My best efforts at sleep are those when I have comfortable clothes and clean teeth.

Electric Toothbrush Security Checks?

This is not a common experience in the US.  The only things we must remove from any carry-on luggage are small electronics like laptops, tablets, and eReaders.  I have never been asked to remove an electric toothbrush and demonstrate its functionality.

Do You Need to Worry about the Electric Toothbrush Activating Itself during Travel?

I have experienced this one, but only on a road trip, when I simply threw the electric toothbrush into a bag with many other items.  I heard the buzzing, which alerted me to the fact that it had been activated.  This issue has a simple solution: always travel with the toothbrush inside a hard case.  

I have not attempted taping the brush’s buttons to immobilize them.  I do not think this is a good solution to the problem of accidental activation of the brush.  Simply place the brush into a carrying case.  If your electric toothbrush did not come with a hard travel case, you may need to purchase a generic case that will fit the various parts of your brush to protect them during travel.

Should You Fully Charge Your Electric Toothbrush Before Taking It on a Trip?

I do tend to fully charge my electric toothbrushes before a trip of any length.  That is simpler than bringing the charger with me, and a fully charged brush will last a minimum of two weeks.  If I had a trip that lasted longer than fourteen days, I would bring the charger with me.  

In decades past, two weeks was the maximum charge you could expect from an electric toothbrush.  Today, I am seeing charges that last thirty days or longer.

What are the Different Charging Options for Electric Toothbrushes?

I prefer a rechargeable electric toothbrush with a charging base.  I have not used one that uses batteries you can replace.  The hassle of purchasing batteries continuously is not appealing to me.  Those with a charging base are simple to plug into a countertop outlet are the simplest in my opinion.

I do have a few models that use a USB charging cord that plugs into the toothbrush handle.  These work well, but feel less convenient than those with charging stands. 

Most chargers, whether they plug directly into the toothbrush handle or connect to the charging station, now use a USB connection, which makes them easy to charge anywhere.

Charging Electric Toothbrushes While Travelling.

One reason I like to fully charge my electric toothbrush prior to traveling is so that I do not have to worry about the need for adapters or converters.  Battery performance has improved dramatically in recent years and many electric toothbrushes can work for a full month on one single charge.

As most brushes use a USB connection for their charging devices nowadays, it is likely that you can easily find one when traveling, even internationally.

Do Dentists Clean Their Teeth while Flying Long Distances?

Yes!  I floss and brush on any flight that is longer than a few hours.  For overseas flights, I use mouthwash and floss and brush my teeth.  My only concern is spending too much time in the tiny airplane restroom and occupying it when others may need it. 

People accumulate plaque at differing speeds.  This depends on the mineral content in saliva, the specific types of food eaten recently, and the texture of the tooth structure.  In general, you should not go more than twelve hours without performing oral hygiene and removing dental plaque from the teeth.  For that reason, on most overnight flights or long overseas journeys, you should plan to brush and floss your teeth during travel or just after disembarking.

Does Air Travel Affect Your Mouth?

Yes, spending large amounts of time on an airplane in flight can lead to a dry mouth.  This is a combined effect of the air quality on board and the lack of adequate water consumption.  Some people compound this with the consumption of alcohol and/or caffeine, which both dehydrate you.

A dry mouth leads to heavier plaque buildup.  Most people recognize this by feeling the surfaces of the teeth with their tongues.  You can feel the bumpy or “fuzzy” texture on teeth covered in plaque.  

In order to counteract this effect, you should drink plenty of plain water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and brush when possible.

Air Travel Friendly Toothpaste And Mouthwash.

When traveling, there is typically a limitation to the number of liquids and gels you can carry onboard the aircraft with you.  This means that you may not be able to bring your favorite mouthwash or toothpaste with you, and it also makes mouthwash and toothpaste tablets a great option!  I have recently begun using both Bite and Huppy toothpaste tablets, and they are a wonderful alternative to traditional mouthwash and toothpaste, especially for travel.  

They contain very effective active ingredients, like nanohydroxyapatite and calcium carbonate.  They do not produce the same texture and mouth feel as traditional mouthwash and toothpaste, but I have been extremely pleased with how clean my teeth feel when using them!

How about the Alternative Option of Teeth Cleansing Wipes?

Teeth cleaning wipes are better than nothing!  While a cleansing wipe is a relatively new concept, it mimics what we often tell parents of infants to do in order to remove plaque from newly erupted baby teeth.  It is easiest and safest to use a baby-soft washcloth over a finger to gently wipe away plaque.  

This concept could work for permanent teeth, but not as well as it does on baby teeth.  One consideration is that there are many areas on the teeth that a cleansing wipe and a finger would not adequately reach.  My advice would be to use these in addition to flossing at a minimum for a quick clean on an airplane or use them to perform a cursory cleaning with the intention to follow up with brushing and flossing as soon as possible.