If you’re planning a vacation, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist for a routine exam before you leave. Being proactive, especially before leaving home for an extended amount of time, or certainly before heading overseas, can save you the time and costs associated with an unexpected dental emergency.
If you have any unresolved issues, like a cracked tooth, an impending root canal, or a necessary wisdom tooth removal, try to have it taken care of before your trip. If you’re not able to get an appointment in time, ask your dentist for recommendations regarding how to deal with certain problems should they occur.
If your trip involves leaving the U.S., make sure you’re aware of what your access to dental care will be. Ask your dentist if any vaccinations are necessary. Certain vaccinations, like for Hepatitis B, must be initiated up to six months before travel.
If you do experience a toothache while on vacation, there are several strategies to try to reduce the pain. Unfortunately, infected teeth can become very painful, and pain can even be experienced due to pressure changes in the cabin during air travel.
Start by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, and use dental floss to remove any food or debris that may be caught between teeth. Don’t put aspirin right on the gum or tooth, as it may burn the tissue. Take an anti-inflammatory medication for the pain until you can contact a dentist.
For a cracked or broken tooth, cold compresses will help keep swelling down. If pain is due to exposed dentin on a tooth, cover it with sugar-free gum or wax for up to 48 hours until you can reach a dentist. Avoid sweets and spices that may irritate the affected tooth. Check with your dental insurance or travel insurance company to see if they can offer assistance during your trip. For more information, please contact:
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