The holiday season is here!

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Don’t let dental problems ruin your holidays.

It’s a holiday nightmare – a painful toothache or other dental emergency far from home and your regular dentist. Below are some tips on what to do when you’re on the road and your teeth need attention.

Prevention

  • It’s a good idea to make an appointment for a dental check-up before you leave on your trip
  • All dental treatment should be completed before travelling to avoid potential infections and pain due to pressure changes during air travel
  • Ensure you have adequate health insurance and your EHIC card is up to date

When emergencies do happen

Even with sensible preparation, emergencies can take place when you are away. Here is some advice on how to deal with common dental problems.

Tooth ache

  • Clean your mouth by rinsing with warm water. Use bottled water or boiled water if the water from the taps is not suitable for drinking.
  • Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth
  • Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gum or near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue
  • If the pain persists, contact the dentist.

Broken tooth/cracked tooth

  • Rinse your mouth by rinsing with warm water. Use bottled water or boiled water if the water from the taps is not suitable for drinking.
  • Use cold compresses on the area to keep the swelling down
  • Call a dentist immediately.

Knocked out tooth

  • Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments
  • If you can’t hold the tooth back in its socket, put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to a dentist as quickly as possible.
  • The tooth should be placed back to it’s socket within an hour so you really need to hurry!
  • If the tooth is a baby tooth, do not place it back in the socket, but get in touch with a dentist so they can check that no damage has occurred to the permanent teeth.

Finding a Dentist abroad

  • If you have a travel insurance or assistance policy, the company’s hotline can help you to find a dentist near you
  • Dental referrals may also be available from the hotel concierge
  • We suggest you ask before making an appointment if the dentist complies with basic standards like new gloves for each patient and sterilized instruments
Minna Miettinen