Whether you’re going for a camping in the wilds of beyond, city sightseeing, calm relaxing beach, family and kids Disney resort or visiting friends and relatives type of vacation you STILL need to look after your teeth and keep up with your dental hygiene regime while you’re away.
With the pressures of daily life that we all experience these days (and doesn’t it just always seem to be ever more pressure piling on??) your vacation is a time when you hope to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. There is never the thought, that you might have to spend time tracking down a dentist whilst on your travels. Finding a dentist on your home turf can be difficult enough, never mind when you are far away from home and, especially if you are out of the country.
While we are used to our dentists here in the US being trained over an 8 year period (after earning their undergraduate degree) and in some cases going on to do further training in one of 9 specialties, as well as having to pass national exams and meet individual State requirements before they get their license to practice. This is not necessarily the case in every other country, especially if you are going to be visiting or traveling in developing countries or remote areas where access to dental care is extremely rare if not impossible.
So!!! What do you do to minimize the possibility of needing a trip to a dentist while you’re on vacation?
First of all; make sure you keep up to date with your regular exams and cleanings. At least this way, you allow your dentist to keep on top of any minor issues that are just developing, such as checking to make sure you have no cavities needing fillings and that all fillings, crowns, dentures and retainers are fitting properly and not loose. Remember, that if you are flying, air cabin pressure can accelerate pain in sensitive areas and may also cause discomfort after some medical and dental procedures. So, you will need to factor in recovery time and follow up appointments when you organize your vacation dates.
Secondly; make time for your dentist to take care of any issues he finds before you leave as any minor things could easily turn into pain or sores that could really spoil your vacation.
Thirdly; double check with your heath insurance to find out if there are any in-network providers where you are going. Also, find out their policies on emergency coverage, when you will be somewhere without coverage. Remember to take your insurance card with you, both medical AND dental. Think about having a separate credit card as a contingency to cover emergency costs and any co-pays.
Lastly; take a supply of disposable brushes (that you can use anywhere), toothpaste, mouthwash and floss with you. If you can find the pre-pasted disposable brushes that don’t need water all the better for ‘on the go’ brushing. Just remember, that if you are somewhere remote, or in a developing country you should use bottled water to rinse rather than use the local supply.
Hopefully, you will have no issues, dental, medical or otherwise and that your vacation will truly be what you hope for………just DON’T FORGET YOUR TOOTHBRUSH!!!!!