Vacationing? Prepare For Orthodontic Or Dental Emergencies

A girl wearing earphones on the beach.

Picture this: you and your family have traveled to a gorgeous beach location for a week of fun in the sun. You’re about to do some serious sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling when a family member starts complaining about a bad toothache! Or, a pokey wire is making someone’s cheek bleed. Argh! Few things can kill your vacation spirit faster than a dental problem or dental emergency. So here are a few tips for taking your teeth on vacation!

Before You Go

If you’ve been keeping your regularly scheduled appointments, this is probably not an issue. But if not, call us to make an appointment. As you know, most problems with your teeth or mouth happen gradually. If we can catch a developing issue before you leave on your vacation, you probably won’t need any of the other tips below.

Second, consider making yourself a “dental emergency kit” to pack along on your vacation that includes the following:

  • Mouthguard(s) – A mouthguard prevents chipped or knocked out teeth. If your plans include any type of high adventure activities (or things as simple as skateboarding or other sports), consider taking a mouthguard.
  • Floss – You were planning to bring floss along anyway for your nightly dental routine, right? We knew it.
  • Pain Relievers – Both topical and ingested (but don’t use aspirin as topical pain relief as it can damage your gums).
  • Orthodontic Wax – If anyone in your group has braces, you probably already know how important this is.
  • Clove Oil, Pencil w/ Eraser, and Sugarless Gum – See explanation below.
  • Contact Information – Even if we aren’t close by, you may need to contact us via phone or email.

Some On-The-Spot Tips

  • Toothache – Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply an icepack to your cheek if it’s swelling. It may be helpful to apply some topical pain reliever or dab clove oil on and around the tooth. If the pain persists, get a hold of us.
  • Chipped, Broken, Or Knocked Out Teeth – Save the pieces/tooth in milk or salt water and get to emergency care quickly. After an hour, odds decrease that the tooth will go back in where it belongs. If there’s bleeding, put some gauze over the wound.
  • Lost Filling – Here’s a cool tip—put sugarless (sugarless only!) gum in the spot the filling used to cover. This will keep the pain down and stop other things from getting stuck in the gap.
  • Something Caught In Your Teeth or Braces – Rinse with warm water and gently floss. If it’s not coming out, DON’T try poking around with something sharp. Give us a call or seek out local care before it causes grief.
  • Pokey Braces Wires – You can try to move a protruding wire with a pencil eraser. If that doesn’t work and it’s still poking you, cover it up with wax. Not enough wax? You can use sugarless gum or foam earplugs. We don’t want you trying to clip any wires yourself.

Many Of The Same Tips (and more) In A Short Video

When In Doubt, Contact Us

That’s why you’ll want to include our contact information in your emergency kit. We’ll give you advice, or refer you to someone in the area if you need immediate care. We’re here to help you and your family in any way we can. Keep in mind that if you are somewhere with internet access, you can always direct message us on our Facebook page!

Have a fantastic vacation, and thank you for being our valued patient!

Any other tips YOU know about? Share them below!