Oral Health on the Road

Posted on June 24, 2015 in General oral health

June_Oral Health on the RoadYou may be getting ready for a well-deserved vacation. Do you know what to do if a dental disaster strikes when you're miles from your regular dentist? We're here to help your vacation.

Find an In-Network Dentist
Before you leave town, remember to become familiar with your dental coverage. Your plan details will indicate if you must visit an in-network dentist or if you can visit any licensed dentist while away from home. Delta Dental has some of the largest dentist networks in the nation, so there's a good chance you can find a network dentist wherever you travel. To find an in-network dentist, visit deltadentalil.com/provider-search/dental/. Enter your plan type and gain access to a dentist's information by location, practice name or last name.

When You're Out of Network

If you plan to travel completely out of network –outside the United States, for instance – you may want to become familiar with Delta Dental of Illinois' International Claim Policy .  Doing a little of research before you leave will come in handy if you lose a tooth while cliff diving!

What To Do for a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere.  If you have a dental accident while traveling, here's what you need to know to help alleviate any pain and receive treatment.


  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.
  • Gently rub your tooth and gum area with an antiseptic that contains benzocaine.
  • Place a cold compress on your cheek to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Make an appointment with a Delta Dental network dentist as soon as possible.

Tooth Trauma:

  • If a baby tooth is knocked out, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Call a dental professional as soon as possible.
  • If a permanent tooth is knocked out, find the tooth, if possible. Rinse it gently in cold water. Do not scrub. Position the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place or put the tooth in a clean container with milk, water, or saliva. Go to a dental professional's office or hospital emergency room right away. The tooth may be able to be saved if treatment is immediate.
  • For a broken or chipped tooth, rinse the mouth out with warm water and apply ice to reduce any swelling. Go to a dental professional's office as soon as possible. If you can find the piece of tooth, bring it with you. Immediate treatment can help prevent infection and may help save the tooth.

Injured Tongue or Lip:

If you injure your tongue or lip, wash the area gently with water and apply ice to reduce any swelling. If the area is bleeding and won't stop, head to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Some dental injuries can be prevented by taking extra precautions.  Here are some suggestions to help prevent dental injuries:

  • Wear a mouthguard during sports activities.
  • Always use a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car. Place young children in a car seat.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for everyone in your family.

Although we hope you will never have a dental emergency while on vacation, being prepared can keep your smile picture perfect for all of those great vacation photos.