How to avoid a dental disaster

It’s finally hotting up and the summer holidays are fast approaching (hooray!). If you’re jetting off in search of sunnier climates your teeth may not be your first priority, but the last thing you want is for them to cause you any problems while you’re away.

So, stay prepared by having a quick read of our pre-holiday tips.

1. See your dentist before you travel

If you’re due – or overdue – a dental health check, try to fit one in before your break. Dental check-ups are so important for keeping your teeth healthy. They help us to spot potential problems and act early, so we can often avoid the need for more invasive and costly treatments later on.

During your dental health check your dentist will carefully examine your teeth, tongue and gums to look for the early signs of problems such as decay, gum disease and even mouth cancer. Fingers crossed everything will be in tip-top condition, but just in case you need a follow-up appointment it’s best to see your dentist a month or so before your trip.

2. Insure your smile

For extra peace of mind, look for a travel insurance policy that includes dental cover. Some standard plans only contribute a small amount towards emergency dental care, so make sure you check your policy details carefully to see what’s included.

You could also consider taking out dedicated dental insurance. Many dental plans will include worldwide cover as standard. If you do need to register a claim while you’re away, make sure that you contact your insurer as soon as you can – you’ll probably need to pay for your treatment up front and then claim it back through your insurance.

3. Pack your EHIC

On top of your travel insurance, don’t forget to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on holiday with you if you’re travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland. The EHIC is free to UK residents and covers dental treatment that is ‘medically necessary’. Depending on the country that you’re visiting, your treatment will be provided free of charge or at a reduced cost.

4. Your dental survival kit

We recommend packing the following to help keep your smile sparkling during your trip:

  • Toothbrush
  • Dental floss or interdental brushes
  • Toothpaste containing fluoride

If you’ve had orthodontic treatment and wear a retainer, make sure you pack this too.

You might also want to consider buying a dental first aid kit. These provide everything you need to temporarily repair fillings and crowns – so they can be very handy if you’re not going to have easy access to a dentist.

While it’s impossible to predict and prevent every eventuality, we hope these tips go some way to helping you enjoy a stress-free holiday.