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When you travel, there are a lot of things that you need to remember to bring with you. Toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and soap, duct tape, clothes – the list goes on and on. But one item that often gets overlooked is dental floss. We have come up with a list of reasons to pack dental floss when you travel – check it out.
What is dental floss?
It is a thin, thread-like piece of material that is used to clean the spaces in between your teeth. It can be made out of a variety of materials, including nylon, polyethylene, or PTFE.
What do we use dental floss for normally?
This is typically used to clean the spaces in between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. This helps to remove plaque and bacteria that can cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Why is dental floss important when you travel?
While you may not think about it, there are actually a lot of reasons why you should pack dental floss with you when you travel. Here are 12 of them:
1. Obviously for your dental care
It isn’t always easy to find a place to brush your teeth when you are on the road and dental floss takes up very little space. It helps remove plaque and bacteria, just like at home, and gets those random bits of food out of view. Bonus? If you have a mint-flavored brand you can freshen your breath quickly.
2. To clean your nails
If you don’t have a nail brush with you, dental floss can be used to clean under your nails. Simply wrap the floss around your finger and insert it under your nails. Move it back and forth to remove any dirt or debris.
Be careful on this – there is a fine line between “sawing” too hard and tearing that “quick” under your nail. That can be painful!
3. Sew with it
Lose a button while traveling or get a slight tear in your hem? No problem! Dental floss can be used as the thread in a pinch. It also works on laundry bags, backpacks, mesh beach bags, or any other heavy material. Just be sure to knot it well so it doesn’t come undone easily.
4. Clean your tech
Ever been watching a movie on your laptop while eating airline pretzels and the few crumbs in the bag dumped on your keyboard? Dental floss to the rescue! Just run it in between the keys to get rid of any debris.
5. Untangle jewelry
If you have necklaces or bracelets that get tangled easily, dental floss can help untangle them without damaging the delicate chain. Just thread the floss through the tangle and slowly work it out. This is one of my favorite reasons to pack dental floss when you travel.
For that matter, you can do a quick jewelry fix with it too. That broken necklace chain? Tie it together with dental floss until you can get to your local jeweler and fix it.
6. Secure your valuables
When you are staying in a hostel or dorm room, you want to make sure your valuables are secure. Dental floss can be used to tie up a backpack, duffle bag, or purse to a bedpost or other sturdy object. Just make sure it is tied tightly so it can’t be easily cut through.
7. Make a clothesline
If you find yourself without a clothesline, dental floss can be used to hang up your wet clothes. Just tie it between two objects (a bedpost and a door handle, for example) and hang your clothes on it.
8. Remove a ring
If you can’t get your ring off, dental floss can help. Wrap the floss around your finger above the ring and pull it off. The slippery surface of the floss will help it slide right off as you are compressing the swollen skin around it.
9. Start a fire
Maybe I have watched too many plane crash movies, but in an emergency situation, dental floss can be used to start a fire. This works best with waxed floss – it will burn well and help you get a good fire started. Simply wrap it around any kindling you have and light it up.
10. Shoelaces in a pinch
If your shoelaces break while you are on the road, dental floss can be used as a temporary fix. Just thread it through the eyelets of your shoe and tie it off. It won’t look pretty, but it will hold until you can replace your shoelaces.
11. Go fishing
I know we will talk about safety pins in another article but between the two, you are all set for that fresh catch. Not that I expect you to go all Tom Hanks in Castaway, but dental floss can be used as a fishing line in a pinch. Just tie it to your makeshift pole and drop your line in the water.
12. First aid
Dental floss can actually be used for a variety of first aid purposes. If you have a cut that is bleeding, dental floss can be used as a suture. Just thread it through the cut and tie it off. It won’t hold for long, but it will stop the bleeding until you can get to a doctor.
As you can see, dental floss is a small, but mighty, tool to have with you when you travel. It doesn’t take up much space and can be used for a variety of purposes. So, the next time you are packing for a trip, don’t forget to throw a few packs of dental floss in your bag!
What other uses for dental floss do you know of? Let us know in the comments below!