Summer is one of the busiest travel seasons in the northern hemisphere because the kids are out of school and the weather is warm. There’s no better time to travel abroad to explore a new city and experience a new culture. If you’re planning to travel abroad this year, there are a lot of things you need to do to prepare for your trip. One preparation that is often overlooked by most is preparing for a medical or dental emergency while you’re abroad. Fortunately for you, Sana Dental has compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for dental emergencies while traveling. Our Edmonton dentist is happy to help you prepare well as possible before your big trip.
1. Visit Your Dentist Before Your Trip Abroad
One of the first tips we can give you for preparing for dental emergencies while traveling is to make sure you’re on track for dental visits. We recommend that you pay us a visit every 6 months for a dental exam and cleaning. Our dentist will use this time to examine your mouth at our Edmonton dentist office to look for cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and other potential problems like loose fillings or crowns. If we happen to find a problem in your mouth, we will recommend a treatment for you to ensure your teeth are healthy before your trip.
We also use this time to clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar that may cause cavities and gum disease. The best way to prevent dental problems from occurring is to take preventive dentistry seriously. We also recommend that you visit us before your trip if you are experiencing any pain in your mouth or bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. Any problems you have should be addressed before you leave to avoid potential problems when you are abroad.
2. Make a List of Dentists in Areas Abroad That You Can Potentially Visit
Whether you are traveling outside of Canada or to a new city, it wouldn’t hurt to browse some dentists in the area to visit in case you have an emergency. For best results, we recommend looking especially for emergency dentists in that area. Before your trip, make a list of a couple of dentists per area you are visiting completely with their emergency phone number and address. This way, in case you experience any dental emergencies while traveling, you will already have a phone number and address for a dentist to visit. When it comes to a dislodged or knocked out tooth, time is of the essence to successfully reattach your tooth.
3. Eat Mindfully
Most people like to use a vacation as an excuse to go off their diet and experience all of the desserts they can get their hands on (we’re looking at you Gelato in Italy). While enjoying dessert is normal, we want you to remember to eat mindfully. If you are going to enjoy a sugary drink or food, make sure to wash it down with water or brush your teeth afterward. The sooner you get the sugar off your teeth, the less chance it will develop into a cavity. We also want to remind you that you should not chew on ice or any hard objects. Teeth should only be used for eating, not as tools. If you have any sensitivity to hot or cold drinks, a straw might be beneficial to use so it doesn’t irritate your teeth.
4. Bring Your Dental Appliances
Please don’t use your vacation as an excuse to not wear your night guard, mouth guard, retainer or oral appliance. If you use any dental appliances daily in your life, make sure you bring them with you to avoid dental emergencies when traveling. The last thing you want to do if experience a dental emergency that could have easily been avoided.
5. Purchase Travel Insurance
If you are traveling outside of Canada, it is a good idea to purchase travel insurance that includes some sort of medical care there. This will prevent you from paying out of pocket for any potential medical problems you may encounter when traveling.
6. What to Do If You Crack or Break a Tooth Abroad
While we recommend you take every opportunity that you can to prevent dental emergencies while traveling, sometimes they are out of your control. If you happen to crack or break a tooth while working abroad, the first thing you should do is contact an emergency dentist. This is one problem that you don’t want to let go. It’s easy for bacteria or food particles to find their way into your cracked or broken tooth. In order to prevent infection and to relieve pain, we recommend that you visit a dentist as soon as possible. This shouldn’t wait until you get home.
7. What to Do If You Dislodge a Tooth
One of the worst things that can happen on your trip is for you to dislodge a tooth. If you happen to knock out your tooth or it becomes dislodged, you will need to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. If your tooth has fallen out, you will need to find it and place it in a cup of milk or saliva. The sooner you get to a dentist, the more likely they will be able to reattach it. Be sure not to touch the root when you pick it up.
8. How to Handle a Toothache Abroad
When you fly in an airplane, it’s actually normal for the air pressure change to cause toothaches if you have fillings in your teeth. This is because the pressure causes the fillings to expand in your teeth. This pain should subside a few hours after landing. If you find that you have a toothache that won’t go away, try over the counter pain relievers to hold you over until you get home. If the pain becomes severe, visit an emergency dentist while abroad.
Visit Dr. Pavlenko Before You Travel Abroad to Prevent a Dental Emergency
If you have an upcoming trip this summer, schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Pavlenko in Edmonton before you leave. You can give us a call or use our online form to schedule an appointment.