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Dental Tips For The Summer Holidays

December 2000
MEDIA RELEASE

DENTAL TIPS FOR THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS

Christmas is only a few weeks away and now’s a good time to visit your dentist before the Christmas break and summer holidays.

The New Zealand Dental Association recommends you have a dental check up in plenty of time prior to Christmas and get your mouth, teeth and gums in good shape so that your holiday won’t be spoiled.

To assist people with any dental problems over the holiday period, the NZ Dental Association has come up with some handy tips on what to do in a dental emergency. Not all dental troubles require an emergency trip to the dentist, but knowing how to handle those that do, could mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

NZDA DENTAL TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

1. Have your check up early to avoid the holiday rush.
2. Toothache. Rinse the mouth with warm water and clean out debris. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped within the cavity (especially between the teeth). If swelling is present, place cold compresses to the outside of the cheek (DO NOT HEAT). Take pain relief if necessary. Sucking on some ice or else placing a small drop of oil of cloves directly on the tooth are alternative ways to reduce the pain. DO NOT place aspirin on gum tissue or aching tooth. Go to a dentist as soon as possible.
3. Knocked out tooth. Wash tooth in water holding it by the crown (not roots), then put tooth back in the socket, or put it in milk or water or a damp towel. Go to a dentist within 30 minutes if you can. This gives the best chance for successful re-implanting.
4. Swollen face. If your face swells as a result of a sore tooth, go to the dentist urgently – or to a doctor is a dentist is not available. A swollen face can develop into serious complications.
5. Broken tooth. Try to clean debris from injured area with warm water. If caused by a blow, place cold compresses on face next to injured tooth to minimise swelling. Go to the dentist.
6. Braces or retainers. If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze. If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, DO NOT attempt to remove it. If there is a loose or broken appliance, GO TO THE ORTHODONTIST OR DENTIST.
7. Bitten tongue or lip. Apply direct pressure to bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. If bleeding doesn’t stop readily or the bite is severe, go to the dentist or hospital.
8. Objects wedged between teeth. Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss in carefully so as not to cut the gums. If unsuccessful, go to a dentist
9. Sailing, tramping – no dentist possible. Use an emery board to smooth rough edges of a broken tooth. (Sugar free) chewing gum can fill a hole if a filling comes out. Your dentist can help you with temporary filling material if you are going to be in the bush or at sea for a long time. You can purchase plastic dental mirrors.
10. If you’re going overseas these holidays, as well as having a pre-travel dental check up, make sure your travel insurance covers you for dental care
11. If you are visiting a country where you are unfamiliar with the language and have a dental problem, either try your hotel, the NZ embassy or consulate or a University Dental School or major hospital.

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