Travel tip: Why dental floss is a must-pack

Travel tip: Why dental floss is a must-pack
Hygiene or help with a problem, dental floss almost always comes in handy. (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles Times)

Under the list of things that one should take on the road, I always love to include dental floss.

I wish I could say it's because my dental hygiene is so very important to me that I want to keep my good habits going on the road.


This of course would be a lie. Just ask my dentist.

But dental floss almost always comes in handy.

On a recent road trip to the Phoenix area, for instance, I unexpectedly purchased a sofa console table. It's not large, but it would not fit in the trunk of the car.

So I flipped it on its top and put it in the back seat. To ensure it didn't come flying forward in case of a sudden stop, I tied the legs to the headrests in the back using dental floss. (I could probably have used knee-high hose, but I worried they would be too stretchy.)

I also needed to smooth out some wrinkles in a blouse, letting the steam from my shower work its magic. Because I was staying in not-the-Ritz, the hangers were the kinds that you latch onto a metal circle secure on the closet clothes rod, thus ensuring that if you steal them, they're useless without the metal circle.

If you want to use the hanger for any purpose outside the closet, it's not going to work, unless, of course, you have dental floss and you can tie the hanger to the shower curtain rod or the nearest bathroom hook. Worked like a charm.

You'll find dozens of uses for it -- securing a broken ID tag to a suitcase handle or replacing the tab on a zipper come to mind (because I've done those things).

Why not just buy some twine? Could have but didn't have time and didn't have scissors with me; floss has a little cutter in its dispenser.

Besides, if I suddenly decide to improve my hygiene habits, there's the issue of sisal getting stuck in my teeth. Not attractive.

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