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This Summer: Don’t Get Caught with a Dental Emergency

woman with tooth pain

We’re sure that you’re thinking of places to go this summer now that the pandemic has finally begun to seriously wind down. Of course, getting vaccinated isn’t the only precaution you should be taking to ensure a safe and healthy visit across the country.

At Blue Coast Dental, we always tell patients that dental emergencies can happen when they least expect them to, taking a good time and turning it into a disaster. Thankfully, you don’t have to do a lot to prevent them from occurring.

We’re happy to offer a few quick tips to dramatically reduce your risk for dental emergencies. In the event one does occur, we also have advice on what you should do next to manage it ahead of your emergency dental visit.

5 Ways to Avoid Most Dental Emergencies

person holding bottle cap in teeth
  • Schedule a checkup before leaving: A routine checkup is a great way to confirm no underlying problems are present before you head out. We’ll go over any areas that we believe to be at risk and recommend treatment from there if necessary to handle them.
  • Always practice regular hygiene: Most dental emergencies occur due to unremoved plaque that causes decay and gum disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are the best ways to prevent dental disease. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months to ensure it’s effectively keeping your mouth clean!
  • Never use your teeth for inappropriate tasks: Teeth can easily crack or chip when used to open packages, bottles, or accomplish other tasks that should be resolved with a tool. Kicking nervous habits like chewing your nails, pens, or pencils also reduce your risk.
  • Use protective oral appliances: If you have a teeth grinding habit, you’re more likely to wake up with a cracked tooth or dental pain. Those who suffer from this habit (known as bruxism) should always wear a nightguard, even when just taking a nap. It’s not worth the risk of cracking a tooth or having tooth discomfort all day.
  • Reduce your consumption of chewy or tough foods: A healthy diet reduces your risk of plaque development, but certain foods are also best to avoid entirely when you can’t easily get to a dentist. This is especially crucial if you have a dental restoration (such as a crown) that could become unseated while chewing taffy or caramel.

What to Do During a Dental Emergency While Traveling

woman holding her jaw in pain

While there many different dental emergencies that can occur, there are ways to manage your situation until you can get to a dentist. For example:

  • Searching for a dentist: Start by calling our office so we can help you determine if what you’re experiencing is an actual dental emergency. If so, we recommend looking for an office in the area you’re visiting that accepts your insurance as well as walk-ins. If you don’t have dental insurance, you should still go to prevent the emergency from getting worse. Many offices provide financing options that let you pay for care over longer periods of time.
  • For tooth pain: Rinse your mouth out with salt water and take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen as needed. Make sure to read the bottle beforehand.
  • For cracked or chipped teeth: Keep any pieces of the tooth that you can and bring them with you to the dental office. Use a cold compress to relieve any swelling. Make sure to apply the compress for 10 minutes at a time, then remove it for an additional 10 minutes. Do this for up to one hour.
  • For knocked-out teeth: Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown (top), never the root. Clean it with cold water (making sure not to remove any tissue still attached) and try to place it back into the open socket for preservation. Get to an emergency dentist in the area as soon as possible.
  • The last thing we want for you to experience on vacation is a dental emergency, which is why it pays off to have peace of mind ahead of your trip. Schedule an appointment with Blue Coast Dental and we’ll make sure no hidden problems are present before you head out!

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