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Dental Emergency Travel Tips
You're miles from home – and your local DentalWorks – when you break a tooth or experience a sudden pain. How do you prepare for the unexpected? Packing aspirin or a substitute, gauze, cotton, floss and paraffin (wax) can help. Below are some more tips on what to do when confronted by a dental emergency. Bear in mind that these are only temporary measures; you must seek proper medical treatment as quickly as possible. If you can't find a dentist on your own, ask the personnel at the hospital emergency room or call a local or state dental society. If you're traveling abroad, contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate, or ask the staff at your hotel.
Rinse your mouth well with warm water and gently floss between the teeth to remove any trapped food. Use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek if there is swelling and take a pain reliever. Never place an aspirin directly on the tooth or gum.
Rinse your mouth out with warm water, apply cold compresses to the cheek and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
Rinse the tooth lightly in running water, but don't scrub it; touch it as little as possible. Put the tooth back in the socket and hold it firmly in place. If you can't reinsert the tooth, keep it in a glass of milk or a special tooth-preserving solution available at a nearby drug store. To improve the chances of the tooth being saved, try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes.
Gently remove the object with floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp instrument.
Cover the cavity with paraffin; take aspirin as needed.
Put direct pressure on the bleeding area with a clean cloth and apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. If the bleeding doesn't stop, go to a nearby hospital.
Use a handkerchief, necktie or towel tied around the head to immobilize the jaw. Get to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.
For more helpful hints on handling dental emergencies, visit these sites: