Infographic Text Only: Dealing with 4 Common Dental Emergencies during Vacation

Posted by June 30, 2017

Whether your idea of vacation is sun and sandcastles, city slicking or sleeping under the stars, dental emergencies can happen anywhere. Be prepared and ready for anything with these tips from the experts at United Concordia Dental.

Quick Tip: If you’ll be leaving the country, it’s a good idea to see your dentist prior to packing up, especially if there may be a language barrier at your destination. Be proactive to prevent some of these problems before they start.

Emergency #1: Damaged tooth

  • Rinse out your mouth with warm water. Use a cold compress to reduce any swelling in the mouth. You can take over-the-counter pain medication, if your personal health conditions allow.
  • If the tooth is chipped, find the chip, if possible. Put it in a plastic bag with a few drops of water or wrap it in wet gauze to keep it moist. See a dentist immediately to repair the tooth.
  • If the tooth is cracked, avoid chewing on anything hard or sticky and visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Emergency #2: Total knock-out

  • If a child’s baby tooth is knocked out, keep the tooth moist by putting it in water or milk. See a dentist as soon as possible to determine if the tooth can be replaced.
  • If an adult (permanent) tooth is knocked out, keep it moist. You can try putting the tooth back into the socket. Hold the tooth at the crown (the top part of the tooth you can see usually), being careful not to touch the root (bottom). If this is not an option, try keeping the tooth between your cheek and gums or place it in milk. Get to a dentist immediately.

Emergency #3: Painful toothache

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water. Use floss to gently try to remove debris that may be stuck between your teeth. Never use anything sharp and do not place aspirin directly on the painful area.
  • If the pain continues or gets worse, go to a dentist or urgent care center – this could be a sign of a serious infection.

Emergency #4: Damaged Braces

  • For a loose or broken braces bracket, use orthodontic wax to hold it in place. If the bracket has fallen off completely, keep it and do not throw it away. Notify your orthodontist of the issue and set an appointment as soon as possible.
  • If a wire from braces is dislodged or poking your mouth, use orthodontic wax to prevent discomfort and hold in place until you can see the orthodontist. If necessary, you may have to carefully clip protruding wires with sterile nail clippers, as close as possible to your teeth. Don’t touch any teeth or gums with the nail clippers. Securely hold the wire being clipped with your other hand to prevent accidentally swallowing it. Tie 12 inches of floss to the nail clippers for easy retrieval if accidentally dropped into your mouth. Cover rough edges with wax.

When you shouldn’t wait:

Remember, a trip to the ER or urgent care can be costly and ineffective. And while most medical facilities can provide temporary pain relief, they are often not equipped to treat dental issues. However, delaying treatment of a dental issue can cause serious complications, so you may need to find a dentist with emergency hours. If you have any doubts on whether or not the situation is a true emergency or you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 or get to the nearest ER:

  • Trouble breathing, even if due to swelling
  • heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • High fever that medicine doesn’t reduce

United Concordia members have access to our vast network of dentists. If you do need to see a dentist during vacation, visit unitedconcordia.com/find-a-dentist to find an in-network provider nearby. You may need to call each location to identify offices with emergency hours.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to provide clinical advice specific to your individual situation. Always consult a licensed dentist/physician for diagnosis and treatment of any specific dental/medical issues.

Important Disclosures: UnitedConcordia.com/Disclaimers

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