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Tips for Emergency Dental Care When Traveling

by Dr. Fay Goldstep, D.D.S.

March 11th, 2012

Travel today can be stressful enough. What do you do if you need emergency dental care while you are away from home and your trusted dentist? Here are 5 quick tips that can help you prevent or treat emergency tooth problems the next time you travel or go on vacation:

  • Avoid major dental treatment before traveling. It is not a good idea to start anything major like a tooth crown or a root canal just before a trip. If you are in the middle of treatment, ask your dentist for instructions on how to keep things stable while you are away. He or she may even know a dentist in the area where you are traveling who can see you if needed.
  • Fix a lost dental filling. If you lose a dental filling, the most important thing is to keep the exposed area covered. Drug stores sell products that can act as temporary dental filling materials. If that is not available, you can use wax or even sugar free gum.
  • Repair a missing tooth crown. If a crown comes out, it may be tricky to reinsert it correctly. It is important to place it right to avoid shifting, food impaction, and other problems. Once you are sure of the proper insertion, clean the area out well and put in a small amount of temporary dental cement paste, which is sold at most drug stores. Bite down gently until the tooth crown is seated.
  • Seek treatment if needed. If you experience pain with hot substances that does not go away, or you notice swelling around the gums, you may be experiencing a more serious emergency dental situation. It is a good idea to see a dentist as soon as possible. Ask your hotel front desk or concierge to help you find a dentist.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. It is especially important to have an easy oral hygiene routine when traveling. This helps maintain your mouth in a healthy, non-emergency state. Don't forget to take along your Waterpik® Traveler™ Water Flosser to keep things squeaky clean!