Dental problems are never fun. When they occur during a trip, the discomfort can be almost unbearable. Knowing how to manage the situation until you see an emergency dentist can make a huge difference in the outcome.
When Toothaches Strike in Midair
An airplane environment can trigger a variety of health problems, including toothaches. This is usually due to changes in air pressure during the flight. It’s a good idea to carry some over-the-counter pain relievers, just in case you notice tooth discomfort while you’re airborne. If the problem fails to subside shortly after landing, then see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
When a Tooth Cracks or Breaks
A fractured tooth is one of the worst dental emergencies anyone can face. Apply a cold compress to your cheek to control swelling, save the fragments of the tooth if possible, and see a dentist right away.
A Missing Tooth Calls for Milk
A glass of cold milk is a delicious and nutritious beverage. But did you know it can also come in handy during a dental emergency? Milk is the ideal environment in which to keep a dislodged tooth until you can see a dentist.
Finding a Qualified Dentist When You’re Out of the Country
How quickly you obtain emergency dental care depends to a large degree on what part of the world in which you’re traveling. Canada and most of Europe have similar standards to those of the US when it comes to medical care.
If you’re in a remote or undeveloped area, then call the American consulate and advise the staff of your situation. You can also ask a hotel employee to recommend a local dentist. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers is another valuable resource. You’ll find links to their website online.
Sometimes the Best Cure Is Prevention
The best way to deal with an emergency dental situation is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Make an appointment to see your dentist soon before your trip. He or she can spot most problems before they turn into crises.
- Watch what you eat. Hard, starchy, or sugary foods are especially likely to trigger dental problems.
- Practice good oral hygiene while traveling. Dental supplies like floss and toothpaste take up very little room in a suitcase or bag.
- Carry a small dental first aid kit with you. Having access to basic supplies like clove oil and pain reliever is always a good idea.
- Bring your dental coverage card with you. You may want to check with your insurance representative ahead of time. He or she may be able to provide a list of care providers in or around your destination.
Dental emergencies can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. Use the tips in this post to help you manage these risks until you get the emergency care you need. We wish you safe travels and happy smiles, no matter where the road of life takes you.
About the Author
Dr. Megan Shelton is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. An outstanding general dentist, she’s also trained in laser treatments and Invisalign therapy. You can reach her office online or by calling (760) 434-9800.