How To Maintain Healthy Teeth While Travelling

by Dr. Krupal Shah

Whether you’re jetting off around the globe or enjoying a staycation closer to home, the last thing you want is for a dental emergency to ruin your break.

While unfortunately it’s not possible to avoid every eventuality, the following tips should go some way to protecting your smile and helping you manage should the worst happen. 

1. Book A Pre-Holiday Check-Up
If you’re due – or overdue – a dental health check, try to squeeze one in before your break. Dental check-ups are really important when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. They help your dentist to spot potential problems and take action early on; helping to avoid the need for more invasive and costly treatments further down the line.

During your dental health check your dentist will carefully examine your teeth, tongue and gums to look for the early signs of problems such as decay, gum disease and even mouth cancer. Hopefully everything will be in tip-top condition, but just in case you do need a follow-up appointment, I recommend seeing your dentist around one month before your trip. 

2. Insure Your Smile
For extra peace of mind during your break, it’s advisable to take out travel insurance that includes dental cover. Check your policy carefully, so you know exactly what’s included. Some standard plans will only contribute a relatively small sum towards emergency dental care.

Alternatively, you may want to consider taking out dedicated dental insurance. Some dental plans include worldwide cover as standard. If you do need to make a claim, contact your insurer as soon as you can to check you’ll be covered. You’ll most likely need to pay for your treatment up front and then claim it back through your insurance.

3. Pack Your EHIC Card
On top of your travel insurance, don’t forget to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you if you’re travelling through a country in the European Economic Area, or Switzerland. This card, which is free of charge to UK residents, will cover you for treatment that is ‘medically necessary’ during your trip. In most cases your treatment will be provided at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on the country you’re visiting.

4. Don’t Forget The Essentials
We recommend packing your toothbrush, dental floss or interdental brushes and a toothpaste containing fluoride. If you’ve had orthodontic treatment and wear a retainer, pack this too – along with its case so it doesn’t go missing!

You might also want to consider buying a dental first aid kit. These affordable kits give you everything you need to temporarily repair fillings and crowns, buying you some time while you find a dentist.

I hope this advice helps you to enjoy a trouble-free trip. If you’re part way through your dental treatment, or have any specific concerns about your teeth or gums, always speak to your dentist before you travel.

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