Taking Care of Your Smile On the Go
In a busy time, such as the present, where everything is a click away, time is of the essence and practicality is all the more valued. However, there are matters even a smartphone won’t be able to solve. One of which is oral hygiene. What must one do when they have a dental emergency? When should one call a dentist? And how can one find a dentist while traveling? Following are some tips on what to do when on the road and the teeth need attention by Dr Karishma Jaradi, Aesthetic Dentist – Dentzz Dental Care Centres
Before leaving on a trip, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a dental checkup, especially when traveling to developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. Clean out the teeth thoroughly. This is especially important in the case of gum disease. Please ensure to have a medical including dental insurance when traveling abroad.
If one is off on a travel trip for a long duration, it is important to consider having the lower wisdom teeth to be extracted. Also, air travel causes a lot of pressure changes due to altitudes, so one must complete all the root canal treatments a month well in advance to avoid the pain and infections which might be caused. On a contrary, while on a road trip, avoid chewing popcorn kernels, ice or hard candy and also using teeth to cut tape or other materials.
One can never be too careful with preparations and precautions; therefore, emergencies are always liable to take place. Here are tips to deal with:
Broken / Cracked Tooth
Contact your dentist immediately and inform about the situation
Keep the broken tooth area clean by rinsing with lukewarm water
Hold a cold cloth in the affected area. This helps in easing the pain and keeps the swelling down
Avoid eating or swallowing ice cold food stuff to avoid sensitivity
Rinse mouth with lukewarm water only and gently use the dental floss to keep the mouth clean
Avoid food particles to accumulate between the teeth
Never place the pain killers below the aching tooth as it may damage the gum tissue. If the pain is persistent, contact the dentist
Dental Care Abroad:
Medical Tourism is a popular concept now. After all, patients have been traveling abroad to cure various ailments over decades now. However, perhaps the major medical risk of receiving treatment in a foreign country is that treatment standards may not be as high as they would be in your home ground. Treatments such as regular vaccinations, sterilization, availability of medications and infection control procedures may not be up to the standard thus posing a potential risk to the safety of the patient.
Oral hygiene should never be taken for granted, and traveling is no excuse to neglect dental care. Thorough oral hygiene can prevent numerous diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which would ultimately prevent further diseases from making their way into the body through oral diseases. It is always recommended to brush teeth twice a day after breakfast and before going to bed. Cleaning in between the teeth is called interdental cleaning and it is equally important as tooth brushing, since a toothbrush cannot reach between teeth, therefore can only clean 50% of the surfaces; not enough to prevent diseases from taking place, such as plaque turning into calculus, which is what happens when plaque latches onto the teeth for too long until it hardens and as a result would require a dentist to remove it with professional equipment. Fortunately, convenient travel-sized tooth brushing kits are available abundantly in order to decrease uncomfortable dental emergencies in foreign territories.
DENTAL KIT: What to carry for the following Dental Problems
1. Essentials that one must pack for a good dental hygiene when on travel
It is recommended to not experiment with a new toothbrush while you are travelling and to use the one you are familiar with.
A fluoridated toothpaste is a must while you travel.
The most essential part of your travel kit is definitely the dental floss since it is not easily available while you travel.
Another indispensable part of your kit is a mouthwash.
It is essential to carry a portable water pik for those patients who have been suggested by the dentist.
2. For those who have recently opted for the following
Whitening (what should one keep in mind and carry while traveling post a whitening treatment)
Whitening– They should carry a de-sensitizing toothpaste post the whitening procedure since there can be some amount of sensitivity after the treatment for which patients are suggested to use these tooth pastes.
Filling and Crowning– They can carry all the normal dental essentials in their kit, but if somebody has just got a filling done recently ideally it is recommended not to savour on chewing gums and toffees because these are sticky and can lead to dislodgement of the filling.
Braces– The doctor usually recommends some special orthodontic brushes. These are generally used to clean in between the wires and braces and can definitely help safeguard the patient’s oral health while he is travelling.
Sensitive teeth– People with sensitive tooth can carry a fluoridated toothpaste.
3. Gum-related problems –
Bleeding gums/pus formation
The main essentials for patients suffering from gum related problems are a mouthwash and portable water pik.
4. Any other essentials to be carried for an emergency travel.
Usually one can carry a pain killer. In case of an emergency situation where the patient is in pain and it’s not possible to get to a dentist, they can pop an anti-inflammatory pain killer. This will help them control pain. These anti-biotics can be used only if they are prescribed by the dentist.