Tis the season for vacations and get-aways. We work hard all year long saving up the time off and funds and waiting for everyone’s schedule to align and hit the road for the reward of a little R & R.
Here are a few tips to make sure that that time is not interrupted by a dental emergency along the way, spoiling your holidays.
Prevention is certainly the key. So bring your floss, brush and any other helpers we may recommended for you in the past. Many of our patients benefit from using rinses to help their gums stay healthy. Others use rubber tip or wooden stimulators to help improve blood flow and get rid of infection in the gums. Be sure to ramp up your efforts before you go to start your trip on the right foot.
If you do have problems here are some good solutions.
If your gums are swollen and you can’t get help right away a strong salt water rinse can be your best friend. Simply dissolve as much salt in as little warm water as possible and let it soak in the area. It will do a couple good things for you. It has antiseptic properties that will help clean the area, but mostly it will help reduce swelling. Just like how my mom would soak her feet in Epsom salts if her feet got swollen, the rinse will osmotically pull fluids out of the swollen tissues. The pressure from the swelling is causing most of the discomfort, so this go a long way to providing relief.
If you break a tooth and can’t get to a dentist, pharmacies carry temporary filling materials that can smooth off sharp edges and holes in the teeth. If you can’t get to a pharmacy you can try putting wax in the area until you can get something more resilient in there.
If you have a crown come off, brush the crown and the tooth very well and try to replace it in the mouth. If it feel pretty stable try to keep it in place and only chew non-sticky food and chew on the other side of your mouth. Your teeth can shift very quickly sometimes once the crown is out, so try to keep it in and brush the area well. If it doesn’t feel stable put it somewhere safe and get back in to the dentist as soon as possible.
If you are having pain, studies have found that 4 ibuprofens, (one Motrin 800) has better pain-killing effects that most prescription narcotics and has the benefit of not causing drowsiness.
But most importantly, get a dental check-up before you leave. If you were going to drive your car across the country you would certainly take it in for an inspection. You should do the same for your teeth and gums. Most emergencies you could have on the trip can be proactively diagnosed and treated the month before your departure. The key is finding the problems early. The earlier we are able to diagnose a problem the more treatment options we have, the better the prognosis and the least it will all cost. Whether it’s finding a cavity before it infects the tooth and needs root canal, or a place where you are getting food stuck between your teeth that could cause a periodontal abscess, an ounce of prevention certainly can be worth a pound of cure, PLUS your vacation isn’t interrupted.
You can call Joann and schedule your check up at 610-525-5497. Coming to our renovated Bryn Mawr Dental office might not be the best trip of the summer, but it can make your best trip better!