It’s that time of year again where we pack our bags to embark on a new adventure to a new place. Vacation time can be an exciting moment of our summer but it’s important to take certain precautions, especially when traveling to a foreign land. That is why we came up with some helpful tips to prepare travelers for the worst case scenario when they’re abroad. Dr. Redford in Carmichael can help you find out everything you need to do to prepare for dental emergencies while traveling.
Dental Emergency – Your First Response to an Abroad Emergency
Even if you’re as prepared as possible, there’s still the chance that a dental emergency can happen. Although prevention actions are the key to preventing emergencies, they can still happen. It’s important to have a plan in place in case an emergency happens. This means having a go-to contact ready at hand in case an emergency happens. If you’re traveling to multiple locations, try putting a list together for each city you will be visiting. This list should contain an emergency dentist, as well as hospital or urgent care locations. Make sure to keep a record of their phone numbers and addresses. This is good to keep at all times in case an emergency does happen. That way, you can remain calm and not stress out even more during your dental emergency.
Toothache Dental Emergency
It’s common to experience tooth pain when flying due to the change in the air pressure. This can happen when air enters your teeth either through a filling, crack, space or cavity in your tooth. The fillings, cracks, spaces, and cavities tend to expand while you’re in the air due to the pressure, making toothaches quite a common occurrence. Toothaches while flying are common in patients with restorations or other dental problems. In most cases, the pain will subside once you land and the pressure balances.
If you land and your toothache does not go away, this is the time to feel a bit of concern. Try rinsing your mouth out, brushing and flossing before you freak out. There might be something stuck in your tooth that is causing the pain. You can try taking an over the counter pain reliever to help reduce the pain as well. If you find that the ache lingers throughout your trip, you don’t need to make a visit to an emergency dentist unless you find the pain to be unbearable. Once you return from your trip, we advise you to make an appointment as soon as possible with Dr. Redford so that we can examine your mouth to find the root of your pain. From there, we will complete the necessary treatment to help you feel better and relieve your pain.
Broken or Cracked Teeth Dental Emergency
If you have a broken or cracked tooth in your mouth before you leave for vacation, you should definitely take care of this before you leave. Otherwise, it might turn into an even bigger problem on your trip and cause you a significant amount of pain. This is a top way to prepare for dental emergencies when you travel – take care of your problems before you leave! If for some reason you do happen to find yourself with a broken or cracked tooth on your trip, this requires immediate assistance from your emergency dentist you picked out before your trip.
If you crack or break a tooth on your trip, you should first rinse out your mouth with water. From there, you should apply a cold compress on the outer side of your mouth to the injured area. This will prevent swelling. Next, give your emergency dentist a call. They may instruct you to visit the emergency room or come directly to their office for a tooth repair.
Dental Emergency – Dislodged Tooth
Nobody can predict that they will lose a tooth while on vacation, but it does happen. Whether you get into a car accident or slip and fall, teeth can fall out at any point during your trip. In the instance that it does, make sure to follow our steps. First, look for your lost tooth. When you find it, grab it by the crown, not the root. Grabbing it by the root can easily damage the tooth, making the dentist unable to reattach it to your jaw. Rinse off the tooth carefully if it’s dirty but be careful not to touch anything but the crown of it. Next, place the tooth in a cup of milk if you have any, if not in a cup of your own saliva. As a last resort, use water.
Once you have the tooth, start driving to your emergency dentist. It’s important to visit the dentist as soon as possible in order to save the tooth. Be sure to call while you’re on your way so they can be prepared for your arrival. After 30 minutes, the likelihood of your dentist is able to save your tooth decreases dramatically!
After you arrive at the dentist, your dentist will reattach your tooth. If unsuccessful, you may need to reconsider different restorative dentistry options to replace your missing tooth. Among these includes dental implants, dental crowns, dental bridges and partial or full dentures. Finding a restoration is important so that you can have both a functional and aesthetic smile.
How to Find a Dentist Abroad
Before embarking on your trip, you can talk to Dr. Redford about where you’re going to see if he has any colleagues in the area you’re traveling to. If not, you can do an easy Google search of the area for emergency dentists in the city you’re traveling to. From there, you can make a list of phone numbers to call in case an emergency arises. If for any reason you’re not having luck, try contacting your travel insurance agency (if you have any) to find a provider for you. You can also call the Embassy or Consulate for your country, or even your hotel concierge for recommendations. Being prepared for dental emergencies when traveling is the best way to avoid serious problems.
Tips for Traveling Prepared
You should have a plan in place before you leave for your trip. This should include a number of steps. Follow them for the best results!
Visit Dr. Redford for a Dental Check-Up Beforehand
If you have a vacation in the books, make sure you’re still on schedule for your dental exam every 6 months. If that 6 months happens to be when you’re on vacation, try to come in a little early so that we can be sure your teeth are in top shape before you leave. During your dental exam, we will check for decay, cavities, gum disease and any other potential problems that may be happening in your mouth. If we do happen to find something problematic, we can take care of it prior to your trip. That way, you don’t have to worry about experiencing severe pain or your problems getting worse while you’re overseas.
Purchase Dental Insurance
It’s unlikely that your dental insurance policy covers overseas treatment. You can always give your insurance company a call to find out. If not, it might be wise to purchase any additional coverage you may need in case you have an emergency while traveling. This can help you save yourself from a lot of money when it comes to emergency treatments.
Before you travel, make sure you have everything you need with you to keep your teeth at optimal health. This means traveling with your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash so that you can properly care for your mouth while you travel. It’s important to pay Dr. Redford a visit in Carmichael before you leave if you are experiencing any dental pain. That way, it can be taken care of before you leave. Also, make sure to bring some pain relievers with you. You never know when a toothache might strike and you’ll be thankful to have those pain relievers with you.
Be Mindful of your Diet
It can be easy to go overboard with the dessert while on vacation, but a couple weeks of binge eating sweets can land you a cavity, especially if you’re not properly caring for your teeth. Be mindful of your diet and the foods you put in your mouth. For example, don’t start a new habit of biting into hard candies or ice chips. If you experience sensitivity to hot or cold, don’t take up a habit of drinking or eating everything that irritates your sensitivity. This can just aggravate your problem.
Bring Your Dental Appliances
If you’re supposed to wear a retainer, mouth guard, night guard, oral appliance or even CPAP machine, make sure you’re packing anything your dentist has advised you to wear to care for your teeth. Without your retainer, your teeth can begin to move back to their original position in the length of your vacation.
Without your night guard, your teeth can do significant damage from grinding and clenching at night. This can lead to cracks or chips in your teeth just over the course of your vacation.
It’s also important to bring any devices you use for sleep apnea. Not only will your partner thank you for bringing it, but you will thank yourself. Without your sleep apnea device, you will snore which will disturb anyone sleeping in the same room as you, in addition, you will begin to experience the painful symptoms of sleep apnea during the day. This includes feeling tired and having headaches. You will want to have a full amount of energy while on vacation which is why it’s important to bring your sleep apnea device.
Lastly, don’t forget your mouth guard if you plan on playing a contact sport while abroad. The last thing you want to happen when playing a contact sport is losing a tooth with your new foreign friends. Don’t forget your dental appliances at home!
Orthodontic Dental Emergencies
If you’re undergoing an Invisalign treatment with our Carmichael dentist while on vacation, it’s important to bring all the necessary aligners, cleaning products and cases with you so your treatment doesn’t come to a halt while you’re away. Although you’re on vacation, your teeth aren’t. Make sure you’re still following your treatment plan as given by Dr. Redford. This means changing your aligners every 2 weeks, wearing them for 22 hours per day and cleaning them regularly. Although it’s a pain to deal with orthodontics while on vacation, you cannot afford to take a break from your treatment, otherwise, you can undo the months or years of treatment you have already completed.
Braces Dental Emergency
Although we don’t provide braces at our dental office, it’s still good information to know in case you have a braces dental emergency while abroad. Make sure to carry dental wax with you! This is going to be your best friend if you break a bracket or a wire begins to stab you. In the event that you break a bracket, or a wire starts to poke you, take the dental wax and place it over the pokey parts. Unfortunately, these are problems you can live with until you get back. You can always try to bend the wire a bit so it doesn’t poke you. If the broken bracket becomes bothersome enough, give your orthodontist a call for advice. Lastly, make sure you schedule your tightening before or after your vacation so that you don’t miss an appointment.
Schedule Your Check-Up Before Vacation Today
Whether you’re due for a checkup or not, it’s always wise to pay your dentist a visit before embarking on a vacation, especially a long one. Give our Carmichael dentist office a call today to schedule your next exam. You can also fill out our online form. You can also ask our dentist how to better prepare for dental emergencies while traveling.