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Handling a dental emergency while on vacation

June 28, 2011

Filed under: Dental Care,Holiday Dental Tips,Travel — admin @ 10:11 am

The suitcases are packed, the car is loaded, the dog is at the kennel – and it’s time for summer vacation!

While relaxing at the beach, exploring a fascinating city, or enjoying the outdoors, tooth emergencies can happen.

Here are a few tips for handling a dental emergency while on vacation.

Toothaches — Rinse mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If swelling appears, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin against the gums or on the sore tooth, because it may burn the gum tissue.

Chipped or broken tooth — Rinse mouth and any broken pieces with warm water. If bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek to reduce swelling and ease pain.

Knocked-out tooth — Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth) and rinse with warm water. Put the tooth in a small container of milk (or a cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt). A tooth that has been knocked out has the highest chance of being saved when it is returned to the socket within one hour.

Lost filling — Stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement.

Lost crown — If it is painful, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the tooth. Try to slip the crown back over the tooth. Before putting the crown back in place, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste or denture adhesive to help hold it in place. Never use super glue!

Broken braces wire — If a wire breaks or sticks out and is poking you, use the eraser end of a pencil to move the wire. If that is not working, use orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze to cover the wire tip. Don’t cut the wire, because you risk swallowing it.

Cuts on gums, lips or tongue – Clean gauze or cloth. As with bleeding anywhere on the body, pressure with a clean gauze or cloth is the first line of treatment.

We encourage you to add the phone number for Dr. Ken Gasper and Aesthetic Dentistry by Design into your phone. 719-599-0700. Our after-hours call center can still get you in touch with Dr. Gasper for advice on dealing with emergencies.

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