Christmas and Your Teeth
Camping, Holidays and Dental Emergencies
There are many things that can go wrong when you’re on holiday with your family. If you are in another town, the easiest solution is to have your family or friends call their dentist and set up an appointment for you if they can. If however, you’re camping things may be a little more tricky. What do you do if you or worse, your child, develops an abscess, loses a tooth, or one of the wires in their orthodontics comes loose?
Prevention is always the best option.
Pre-holiday Check-ups: Two weeks before you’re due to head out into the wilds where even cell phone reception is rare and elusive, visit your dentist for a checkup. The best advice here is, of course, prevention. So, about a month prior to departure - or at least two weeks before you go - schedule a visit to your dentist for a thorough physical examination.
Make sure you have PLENTY of battery and data on your phone: And don’t use your phone unless it is an emergency. Instead, keep it switched off so that you save valued battery life for when you really need it.
Pack these essentials
While nothing beats being in the dentist’s chair within minutes of a dental emergency, you can pack a few necessities to keep the pain down and protect your teeth until you can contact a dentist. These include:
- For pain: Clove Oil and Sensodyne Toothpaste
- To fill spaces left by dislodged fillings or crowns: Dental Wax, Interdental Sticks, Floss, and an eraser-tipped pencil…we’ll tell you why later.
- Emergency numbers: Your dentist, and a dentist in the area where you are on holiday.
What to do when accidents happen
The 4 most common dental emergencies that occur when you’re on holiday are:
- Chipped or broken tooth – save any pieces you can and rinse them with warm water. Rinse your mouth out with warm water as well.If you have gauze you can use it to stop any bleeding and encourage clotting. A tea bag will also work. Keep the swelling down with a cold compress.
- Knocked-out tooth – The tooth needs to be put back into the jaw asap and ideally in under an hour if you want to save it. Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root, and rinse it off with warm water – don’t scrub it. Once it’s clean, you can replace it in the person’s jaw. Make sure it’s facing the right way first. Don’t force it. If it can’t be reinserted put the tooth in a small, lidded container of milk, or salt water and get to a dentist quickly.
- Lost filling - This is where the clove oil and dental wax will come in handy. As will sugarless chewing gum.First, use the clove oil to gently numb your gum and the tooth.If you have dental wax, mould it into the tooth where the filling was. If you only have sugarless chewing gum with you, use that. Chewing gum with sugar in it will increase the pain.Remember, this is a temporary measure. See your dentist as quickly as possible. If you are in pain, you can useIbuprofen and Panadolso long as you do not have any allergies or intolerances to these medications, ask a health professionally about the appropriate dosage.
- Broken braces and wires – Never cut the wire! It can be swallowed or inhaled into the lungs. With dental wax and a pencil with an eraser you can create a temporary fix. Using the end of the eraser, guide the wire back into place, covering it with dental wax afterwards.
- Abscess: An infection in the gumline or around the root of a tooth can develop into an abscess. To relieve pain and draw the developing pus to the surface rinse your mouth out several times a day with saltwater – ½ teaspoon of salt to 240mm of warm water. Too much salt will cause great pain. An abscess is serious and can lead to medical complications, so you must see a dentist immediately.
All Team Dental Branches will be closed Christmas Day.
Here are our Christmas Hours for the upcoming holidays:
Whangarei Open: Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm.
Public holiday and Sunday hours 1 - 4pm
Riccarton Open: Mon – Fri 9am-5pm, Closed NY Day
Public holidays and Weekends 9am-4.00pm.
Tauranga 2nd Ave Open: Mon-Fri 9.00am-6.00pm,
Public holidays and Weekends 10.00am-4.00pm
Greerton Closes 23rd Dec opens 11th Jan
Tauranga 16th Ave Closes 24th Dec 1.00pm opens 11th Jan
Bealey Closes 24th Dec 1.00pm open 11th Jan
Papanui Closes 24th Dec 1.00pm open 11th Jan
Rotorua Closes 24th Dec 3.00pm open 11th Jan
Papamoa Closes 23rd Dec open 11th Jan
Call Team Dental on 0508 832 633