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What To Do About Dental Problems During Your Holiday Travel

Managing a Dental Emergency When You’re Traveling

Most people love a good vacation, but throw a dental emergency into the mix and the trip can quickly turn into a nightmare.

A painful toothache or a cracked tooth when you are far from home is scary. So what should you do? When should you call a local dentist? And how can you find one when you’re unfamiliar with the local area?

Here are some steps you can take when your teeth need attention while you’re on the road.

#1: Prevent emergencies before they happen.

It’s a good idea to make an appointment for a dental checkup before you leave on your trip, especially if you’re traveling to developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. Have your teeth professionally cleaned.

All root canal treatment should be completed before travel to avoid potential infections and pain due to pressure changes during air travel.

On the road, consider these preventive tactics:

  • Do not chew ice
  • Do not chew popcorn kernels
  • Do not eat hard candy
  • Do not use your teeth to break tape or perform a manual task

#2: Do-it-Yourself Treatments for Common Dental Problems

Even with sensible preparation, emergencies may take place when you’re away. Fortunately, toothaches, broken teeth, cracked teeth and missing teeth are manageable problems when you remain calm.

Here is some advice on how to deal with common dental problems.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clear germs and bacteria
  • Use floss to clear debris near a toothache
  • Do not place medication against your gums or teeth
  • Use cold compresses to reduce swelling
  • Keep a knocked out tooth in a cup if you can find it

#3: When in Doubt — Find a Dentist

Finding a dentist on vacation requires a bit of research and good sense. You may check the American Dental Association website for dentists in your area, or you can contact a travel insurance firm for assistance.

Travel insurance covers medical events that ruin your vacation, and the insurance firm will have a list of dentists you can visit in the area. Dental referrals may also be available from the hotel concierge, the American Consulate or the American embassy in the country you are visiting.

Be sure to document any dental exams and procedures you have while you’re away, and let us know about them at your next exam here at our office!

#4: Stay Calm

Remember, cooler heads prevail — even in a dental emergency. Remain calm, and seek help. Your calm demeanor will pay off after the emergency is over. There will be less stress, and more time for you to enjoy your time traveling.


THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.