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Dental Emergencies While Traveling: What to Do

dental emergencies while traveling
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With summer in full bloom, most people are taking long summer vacations. Although vacations can be a fun way to explore new cities, try new foods, learn about other cultures and take some much needed time off, not all vacations are safe or leave you in perfect health. It’s quite normal for people to get sick on vacation, slip, and fall or even experience a dental emergency. The best way to confront dental emergencies while traveling is by being prepared. This means knowing what to do in certain situations and having a plan in place for when an emergency does happen. A Healthy Smile Dentistry is here to provide you with the preventive care you need to avoid emergencies and to give you the tips you need to confront emergency situations. Learn more about dental emergencies while traveling from our Florham Park dentist.

How to Be Prepared for an Aboard Emergency

Whether you’re traveling outside Florham Park to another state or as far as another country, it’s always a good idea to have some sort of emergency plan ready to use if the time presents itself. It doesn’t matter where you’re vacationing, an emergency can happen at any moment, even if you’re careful. We recommend doing a bit of research before your trip to find a dentist in the area you are staying in case you do experience any dental emergencies while traveling. Put a list together of dentists that are known for taking emergency dental cases. If possible, try to check if they carry your insurance. If you’re going outside the country, give your dental insurance company a call to see if they give you any coverage outside the US or in other states. This is good information to have on hand in case you need it.

Compile a list with the name, number, address and hours of a dentist in each city you’re staying. You might as well include other important emergency information on your list too like hospitals and urgent care locations. Whether you break a tooth or run into some random stomach pain, you will be happy that you have this information on hand instead of running around trying to figure out what to do and where to go. This will allow you to stay calm during your emergency.

Finding a Dentist Abroad

If you know that you’re going to be going on a long trip abroad, talk to Dr. Gohard about it during your most recent appointment. She might know some colleagues in the area or have some resources that can help you find an emergency dentist to keep on hand. You can also do a simple internet search to find your emergency dentists while you’re traveling. Make sure to take note of every dentist’s number, address, hours, and website. If you’re still struggling to find an emergency dentist, if you have travel insurance, you can ask them if they have any referrals for you. Other options include asking the concierge at your hotel or even contacting the Consulate or Embassy for the US in that area. Although this seems like a tedious task, being prepared for an emergency will help you avoid stress and more serious problems.

Toothache Dental Emergencies

Toothaches are such common emergencies and they can happen at any time! Research has shown that toothaches are quite common after flying due to the changes in air pressure. If your teeth happen to feel more sensitive while flying, this is because air enters your tooth through fillings, cracks, cavities or space in your tooth. These tend to expand when you fly, allowing room for air to flow in. The air flowing in is what causes the feeling of a toothache. Your toothache should go away once you land and the pressures balance out again.

After you land, if you find that your toothache won’t go away, this is when it starts to look like a more serious situation. Before declaring it an emergency, we recommend brushing, flossing and rinsing out your mouth as thoroughly as possible. In some cases, toothaches can be caused by debris stuck in teeth. You can also try taking some over the counter pain relievers. These should help ease your pain in the meantime. Unless the pain becomes unbearable, you should be fine to continue through the rest of your trip without visiting the dentist. Once you return home to Florham Park, make sure to give Dr. Gohard a call as soon as possible (or even while you’re still abroad) to schedule a dental exam. Dr. Gohard can then diagnose the problem and provide you with a treatment as soon as you’re home.

Cracked or Broken Teeth Dental Emergencies

Another common type of dental emergencies while traveling that you may experience includes pain from cracked or broken teeth. Before you embark on your trip, if you have any broken or cracked teeth, you should have these treated. If you go on your trip without treatment first, you might run into trouble on your trip because the problems can grow even bigger and potentially cause you a lot of pain. If for any reason you find yourself with a cracked or broken tooth during your trip, you should pull out your handy dental emergency contact list and give the first dentist on there a call. This is something you don’t want to leave untreated for the duration of your trip.

If you happen to break or crack a tooth while on your trip, follow these instructions. First, rinse your mouth out with water. You should then hold a cold compress against your mouth where the tooth hurts – this will help prevent swelling. Lastly, give that first dentist on your list a call for an immediate appointment. Your emergency dentist might direct you to visit the emergency room of a local hospital or for you to come to see them in their office to have your tooth repaired.

Dislodged Tooth Dental Emergency

There is no way to know if you will slip and fall or end up in a situation that will make you lose one of your teeth while you’re on vacation. Unfortunately, dental emergencies while traveling do happen and it’s best to have a plan of action when they do. If one of your teeth happens to get knocked out at any point during your trip, here’s what you should do during that situation. First, look for the tooth that fell out, if you find it, pick it up by the crown (do not touch the root!) and rinse it off. Be careful when rinsing it off, you don’t want to damage it. Place the lost tooth in a cup of milk, saliva, or as a last resort, water.

Once you have the tooth ready, you should head to your emergency dentist as soon as possible. Make sure to give him or her a call on your way over so they know to expect you. The longer you take to see the dentist, the less likely they will be able to reattach the tooth. After 30 minutes, the likelihood that your dentist will be able to reattach the tooth begins to drop dramatically.

Once you arrive at your emergency dentist, he or she will try to reattach the tooth. If for any reason they do not succeed, you will need to consider a restorative option to replace your tooth. You might want to wait until you’re back home to handle this or you can explore options while on vacation. Options to replace missing teeth can include dental implants, dental crowns, bridges, and full or partial dentures. It’s important to find a solution for your missing tooth so that you can maintain the functionality of your teeth and continue to have a beautiful smile.

Visit Dr. Gohard for an Exam Beforehand

If you have a long vacation in the books, try to plan it after your upcoming dental exam. You should be on schedule to visit Dr. Gohard every 6 months for a cleaning and complete exam if so, plan your trip after it. This will give Dr. Gohard a chance to examine your smile before you embark on a long vacation. Visiting our Florham Park dentist beforehand will allow her to find any problems wrong with your teeth before it’s too late. This will give her time to take care of your problems before you leave for your trip. You can then go on your trip with an ease of mind that you won’t run into any avoidable pain or dental problems while you’re on your trip.

Consider Dental Insurance

You can check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover you oversees, it most cases, this is unlikely. One way you can make sure you’re covered while you’re out is by purchasing any additional dental coverage you might need. This can help save you tons of dollars on your trip in case you run into a dental emergency.

Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies While Traveling

The best way to avoid dental emergencies while traveling is by being prepared. This means you need to do everything in your power to avoid situations that may cause emergencies as well as bringing everything you need with you to take care of your teeth. This should include your toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Even though you’re on vacation, you should never take a vacation from dental hygiene! Also, make sure to pay Dr. Gohard a visit before your trip if you are experiencing any pain or problems with your teeth before your trip. Lastly, bring anything you think you might need with you in case you run into trouble like pain relievers.

Stay Mindful of Your Diet

Once again, we know you’re on vacation, but you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to eat everything in sight without at least being somewhat mindful of it. For example, don’t go too overboard with the sweets without properly brushing your teeth or rinsing out your mouth afterward. Remember that sugar is one of the leading causes of cavities. Also, make sure to not pick up any bad habits of biting into hard candies or ice during your trip. This can cause severe damage to your teeth that you will regret. If you have any tooth sensitivity prior to your trip, try to avoid the hot, cold and sweet foods that aggravate the sensitivity. You can also try toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Don’t Forget your Dental Appliances

Whether you wear Invisalign aligners, a mouth guard, night guard, an oral appliance or use a CPAP machine, it’s important to bring any dental devices you’re supposed to wear along with you on your trip.

Without wearing your retainer, you can return from vacation with shifted teeth. If you forget your Invisalign aligners, your orthodontic treatment will be put on hold and may even reverse itself. Forgetting a night guard will cause you to wake up with sore jaws, a headache and worn down teeth. Do yourself a favor and make sure you pack all of your dental appliances with you so you can avoid the terrible outcomes.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, don’t ruin your partner’s vacation. Bring your CPAP machine or oral appliance so you can make sure that you get enough sleep without snoring in your partner’s ear. You will thank yourself when you and your partner wake up feeling refreshed.

Lastly, if you plan on playing any contact sports while on your vacation, make sure you still bring your mouth guard with you. This will be the only way to protect your teeth from being knocked out while you play a sport.

Leaving for Vacation? Schedule a Dental Exam

If you have a vacation in the books, it’s time for you to schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Gohard. Our dental office in Florham Park is here for you to receive all of the dental treatments you need including dental exams, fillings, crowns or even root canals before you leave for your trip. Schedule your appointment today by filling out our online form. We hope you have a great vacation and avoid all dental emergencies while traveling. If you do happen to run into a dental emergency, make sure to remember our tips for handling them!

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