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Preparing Your Teeth for Vacation

The holidays are approaching. The last thing a person wants to encounter when traveling is health problems, including dental issues.

But First...

Take care of past-due dental issues, ASAP.

An essential preparatory step is to schedule, as soon as possible, any overdue or cancelled/postponed dental appointments. For many people, 2021 was a year when it was difficult to schedule, let alone get, any type of medical service or care not related to Covid-19. Most dental practices had to either close down or cut back to severely limited numbers of patients. Most dental practices have reopened to more and more patients, with new screening policies for patient admission and increased use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing systems.

There are some steps you can take to ensure your dental health is in good order while you’re traveling. Follow this guidance, and you should be able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

  • Stick to your established oral-care routines when traveling. Even though you may be eating exotic foods in faraway places, and indulging in more treats than usual, you should still continue to follow your daily routine for taking care of your teeth. Brush after each meal, floss regularly, refrain from cracking down on hard foods that might cause molar trouble, and drink plenty of water (both to keep gum tissues hydrated and to regularly flush bacteria and acids from your mouth).

  • Have your regular dentist’s contact information handy. If you’re being treated for an unusual or persistent tooth or gum problem, contact with your regular dentist may be critical for providing information to a dentist in your vacation area. According to ADA dentist Dr. Matthew Messina, patients are generally unaware of how many dental situations can be resolved via a phone call.

  • Out-of-country situations may require governmental assistance. If you experience a dental emergency in a foreign country, contact the local consulate or U.S. embassy. Part of their job is to assist American citizens, and they should be able to direct you to a recommended (or even preferred) local dental professional. They might even have in-embassy medical staff who can assist you.

  • Check insurance coverage. Your regular dental insurance may not provide coverage if you travel outside the country. Fortunately, this should be easy to check with your insurance provider. If there is no coverage, look for a travel insurance plan that covers medical (including dental) emergencies.

  • Ensure your toothbrush is completely dry before packing. Avoid the possibility of bacterial growth by completely drying your toothbrush before packing.

  • When in doubt, brush with bottled water. Some travel destinations may have a reputation for contaminated drinking water. If this is the case, brush with quality bottled water to ensure you don’t contract any diseases via the oral route. If that’s not available, use water that’s been boiled and then cooled.

When You’re on Your Own

In your travels, you may experience a situation (or endure an accident) in which you may be hours or even days away from proper care. In such situations, you’ll have to improvise — to relieve pain, cover a damaged crown, fill a gap, reduce inflammation, etc. The doctors at the recommend a “dental emergency kit” containing the following items:

  • Floss

  • Tweezers (to remove material stuck between teeth or in gums)

  • Tylenol or ibuprofen

  • Gauze

  • Vaseline

  • Orthodontic wax

  • Mouth tape

  • Temporary filling material

  • Antibiotic like azithromycin, amoxicillin, or penicillin

  • Anbesol

And Remember...

Dentists take vacations, too. The average dental practice probably has several doctors who already have a plan for coverage when one or more dentists will be out-of-office for any length of time. But if you live in a rural area, for example, where the local dental practice is a one-person operation, there may be no backup. If you’re being treated for some persistent dental issue (i.e., something other than routine periodic care), contact your dentist in late spring and ask if he or she will be on vacation during the summer. If so, ask for a recommendation for a backup doctor during that time; if no backup is available, arrange to have an appointment before your dentist leaves for vacation.

Contact Us Today to Set Up Your Pre-Vacation Appointment!

You’ll want to have all your dental issues and needs resolved before leaving for vacation. The team at Dentures Plus Lenexa stands ready to ensure a vacation free of dental pain!

We accept most insurance plans. Our friendly staff is ready to answer any questions and to check your insurance coverage to resolve any issues. To save time on your dental visit, you can conveniently fill out patient paperwork ahead of time by using the links on our website. Because your dental health shouldn’t have to wait, Dentures Plus Lenexa partners with CareCredit to offer our patients financing options. Contact information for financing can be accessed via our website.

Dentures Plus Lenexa looks forward to servicing your dental, denture, and implant needs! Whether you’re a new resident in Johnson County, seeking to get a dental problem fixed, or an existing patient who is experiencing an issue with dentures or implants, we’re here to help. Please stop into our office at 8630 Maurer Road in Lenexa or call us today at 913-227-0466. At Dentures Plus Lenexa, your health comes first – period. For the best dental, denture, and implant service in the Kansas City area, contact us today!

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