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Don’t Leave Home Without a Dental Emergency Kit

TMJ Treatment | 3 | Gregory Allen Kerbel DDS, PPLC | Garland, TX

Vacation should be relaxing, but it won’t be if you suffer a dental emergency while you’re away. An emergency can be stressful even if it happens on your home turf, but it’s even worse if it happens when you’re miles away from your family dentist. Packing a dental emergency kit will make it considerably less stressful by helping you handle situations like a toothache or broken tooth until you can get to a dentist.

It’s also a good idea to research dental care facilities in your destination so you know where to go if you need help in a hurry. This kind of preparation will help ensure everything goes as well as possible if dental disaster strikes.

If you need to get dental work done, don’t delay until after vacation. Get your procedures done before you go, if possible, to minimize any inconvenience. Temporary crowns can become dislodged, for example, so don’t hit the road with a temporary.

We want to help any way we can! Call Gregory Allen Kerbel, DDS at 972-360-9944 if there is anything we can do for you.

What to Pack in Your Dental Emergency Kit

You can buy a dental emergency kit online. You’ll find more than 300 of them on Amazon, many selling for less than $10. Because many of them focus on one or two problems (such as temporary repair of a filling, crown or dentures), it’s best to think of them as a starting point. You’ll need to add more general-use items if you want a truly useful kit. You can also make your own kit from scratch.

We found a nice one that has a few essential components and comes in a small waterproof container that would be especially nice in a tent or on a boat. It contains materials for two temporary fillings, cotton balls, benzocaine ointment, and a tea bag. While a tea bag may seem like a strange choice, tannic acid in tea can help relieve swelling.

If you want to make your own dental emergency kit or if you’re supplementing a purchased one, we suggest these items:

  • Gauze. So versatile, it can be used to apply medication, stop bleeding, and for many other purposes.
  • Medical-grade gloves. It’s a good idea to wear these if you’re trying to check out dental damage or apply a fix like a temporary filling.
  • Small flashlight and dental mirror. This makes it easier to see what’s going on in your own mouth or examine a member of your travel party.
  • Tweezers. You can do many things with these, like applying a temporary filling or even handling pieces of a broken tooth.
  • Saline solution. This is great for rinsing blood or other substances out of your mouth. Purchase it at most drugstores or grocery stores. Or make your own by combining salt and water. (Use half a teaspoon of salt per one cup of distilled water or water that has been boiled and then cooled.)
  • Ice packs. These are handy for numbing pain and reducing swelling.
  • Dental wax. You can use it to avoid irritation from a chipped tooth, to cover a broken wire on orthodontia, or even to temporarily replace a lost filling. Find it at many drugstores or on Amazon.
  • Save-a-Tooth system. This product extends the amount of time you have to get a knocked-out tooth to a dentist, where it can hopefully be re-implanted. Simply place the teeth in the preservative material and seal the container.
  • Topical pain reliever. We suggest clove oil, Orajel or Anbesol for numbing a painful tooth.
  • Pain reliever. An over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen will also help with pain. But don’t use aspirin if you need to stop bleeding.

Call our East Dallas, TX dental office today at 972-360-9944 if you want to see us before your vacation. You can also fill out our online form to request an appointment. If you experience  a dental emergency before you leave town, give us a call. We’ll do our best to get you a same-day appointment.