Dental care can vary dramatically from country to country, especially as regards cosmetic issues (not every place sees straight white teeth without obvious fillings as something worth having). Same for braces and retainers. You might not emphasize cosmetic issues, in which case this would not be a problem for your family. Otherwise, it might be prudent to see to dental checkups, braces and the like before you depart, or schedule them during a trip back home.

If your child wears braces or a retainer, check to see what level of care will be available in the host country. It has been our experience that the skills needed to deal with braces and the like can be hard to find in Asia, and that skill levels in other areas of the world vary greatly. If your child needs regular work on his/her braces, you may need to arrange for this outside of the host country.

Few places outside the U.S. have fluoridated tap water; even if it is available you may not want to drink the tap water. Speak with your dentist before traveling about the advisability of using some combination of fluoride toothpastes, fluoride rinses or mouthwashes or oral fluoride supplements. If you and your dentist agree that some sort of fluoride is necessary in the host country, check to see if it can be purchased there. If not or if you are unable to learn if it is sold, you will need to purchase sufficient quantities and bring it all in with you.

Amazing as it seems, at one point some time ago we found that a toothpaste our kids loved in Japan actually had sugar in it. Many brands do use sugar-substitutes, such as saccharine. You may want to learn the words in the host country language for such substances to make you a more informed and healthful shopper.

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