Avoid Dental Emergencies While On Vacation

Know what to do in a dental emergency.

Be prepared for a dental emergency, especially while you are on vacation.

You’ve finally got some time off from your busy, everyday life, and are on vacation. But a dental emergency happens. Should you find an emergency dentist right away, or can it wait until you get back home?

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is anything that happens to your teeth or gums that causes an issue. A dental emergency usually causes a person a lot of discomfort or pain, and there can be swelling, and even uncontrolled bleeding. Dental emergencies can include things like chipped or broken teeth, loose crowns, and toothaches.

What To Do When a Dental Emergency Arises

Since there are many types of dental injuries and emergencies, different steps can be taken to address your dental issue.


If you are experiencing a toothache while on vacation, the first thing you should do is brush and floss your teeth to make sure there isn’t anything stuck between your teeth, which could be causing irritation. If your tooth is still aching, rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater mixture.

If you are still experiencing pain, you can use a cold compress against your mouth where you are experiencing discomfort, and even take an over-the-counter pain relief medication, if needed. If the toothache exists, reach out to the team at Sheppard Family Dental Care and we can advise if you need to see a dentist right away.

Broken or Knocked-out Tooth

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, or your tooth was knocked out completely, this is a dental emergency and you should see the closest dentist as soon as you can. If you’re on vacation and aren’t sure who to contact, you can always call the Sheppard Family Dental Care team and we can work with you to find a dentist in the area where you are vacationing.

You should also try to collect any, or all pieces of the tooth, making sure to only handle a knocked out tooth by its crown, or the top part of the tooth. If your tooth is completely knocked out and you can fit it back into the socket gently, place it there and hold it gently with your tongue or a piece of gauze.

Otherwise, place the tooth, or tooth fragments into a small container of milk and make your way to a dentist. If you are bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply gentle pressure to the area to help stop the bleeding.

Lost Filling or Crown

If you lose a filling while on vacation, for a temporary fix, you can use dental cement, which is available at most drug stores, to repair the missing filling temporarily. In a pinch, you can use a piece of sugarless gum to help fill in the hole the missing filling created. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

If you have lost a crown while you are on vacation, this is another instance when you need to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can so that your crown can get fixed. If you aren’t able to make it to the dentist right away, and are in pain, you can use clove oil, applied with a cotton swab, to help relieve the pain.

Clove oil is available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores, and is often available in drug stores, as well. If you still have the crown and it fits back on your tooth, use dental cement or even toothpaste to help hold the crown in place temporarily until you can see your dentist.

If you are ever unsure of what to do when there is an injury to your tooth or mouth, give Sheppard Family Dental Care a call and speak to our team about your options.

Keep up with your oral health routine, even while on vacation.

Just because you are on a vacation, that doesn’t mean you get to take a vacation from your dental health routine. It is important that you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, every day, for a minimum of two minutes at a time, as well as flossing at least once a day. Your teeth and gums are vital, so it is important that you take the daily effort to care for them, otherwise, there may be consequences.

To make sure your teeth are vacation-ready, visit Sheppard Family Dental Care for your biannual visit before you go on vacation. Our team will give you a thorough evaluation to make sure everything looks great before you take some time to relax.