You’ve been planning this trip for months, and you’re so excited that it’s finally here. Your bags are all packed, the flight is booked, and you’ve brushed up on the language of the locals. You get there and have a great time until you fall and chip a tooth. Now your mouth is bleeding and in intense pain. To top it all off, you’re in a different country and have no idea what to do! Let’s look at what you should do when you have a dental emergency while traveling.
Visit the Dentist Before Your Trip
If it’s been a while since your last checkup, it couldn’t hurt to get your mouth checked out and make sure everything is in good shape. Your dentist may find a problem that could become worse overseas and treat it beforehand. For example, if you have a crown that has come loose, your dentist could reattach it, so it doesn’t break while you’re traveling. That way, you can experience your vacation with a clear conscience and a healthy mouth.
Make Sure Your International Plan Has Dental Insurance
Many people mistakenly think their private or corporate or even trip insurance fully covers them for unexpected emergencies. However, full coverage is not always granted. Try and find a travel medical plan that includes any dental emergencies that you can think of. Additionally, you might want to research the hospitals and medical facilities in the area to where you’re traveling.
Be Aware of What You Eat
We’ve all heard about places where you shouldn’t drink the water, but that’s not all you have to watch out for. Very hard and sticky foods can make crowns more likely to break. Crunchy foods can even create painful chips or cracks in your teeth. If you’re going to drink, be sure to stay hydrated. Alcohol can cause a dry mouth, a condition where you don’t produce enough saliva. Since saliva washes away excess food particles and strengthens teeth, dehydration increases your risk for tooth decay. A good rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.
Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency
Make sure you pack some supplies, or buy some when you arrive, that can help in a dental emergency. Some items to pack might include:
- Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Gauze to stop bleeding
- Fluoride toothpaste
We may not be able to predict emergencies, but we can lower their likelihood of occurring. Take every precaution to keep your mouth healthy during your trip. Be sure to see your dentist beforehand, as they can probably help you prevent a dental emergency in Memorial and beyond.
About the Author
In 1983, Dr. Mark Gray graduated from the University of Texas Dental School in the Memorial area of Houston. Since then, he has worked on building the best practice he can. If you call his office with a dental emergency, he will do everything in his power to see you on the same day to fix your problem as soon as possible. To learn more, click here or call (281)-493-9395.