Dental health tips — your oral health in the aftermath of a disaster
The victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters face many challenges, one of which is that they may have difficulty reaching their family dentists. Until some kind of normality returns, here are some tips to keep in mind when you have a dental problem and you cannot go to your usual dentist.
Dental emergencies: If you are experiencing any dental pain, swelling and/or bleeding, and your regular dentist is not available, choose another dentist as soon as possible. For severe dental or facial pain and/or swelling, you should consider going to a hospital emergency room.
Orthodontic care: People wearing orthodontic braces usually see their dentist every month or so for adjustments. If you cannot get to your dentist, it is usually possible to wait an additional month or two between adjustment visits without experiencing any harm. When there is an emergency related to orthodontic treatment, such as broken appliances or appliances that are irritating the lips, cheeks or tongue, almost any dentist will be able to help you. Most dentists can treat minor orthodontic emergencies by removing broken appliances or by smoothing sharp wires.
Temporary crowns or bridges: If you are in the middle of crown or bridge treatment and are wearing a temporary crown or bridge, and your regular dentist is not available, check to see if the office will be open in the near future. Most temporary crowns and bridges should be checked and possibly recemented within a month after placement. If your dentist will not be able to see you within the month, go to another dentist to have the temporary restorations checked. To keep your temporary crown or bridge safely in place, avoid eating and biting on it, try to keep it clean and do not chew hard or sticky foods.
Routine and periodontal dental cleanings: Most people experience no harm if their routine or periodontal cleanings are delayed. If your regular dentist is not currently available to provide care, check to see if the office will be open in the near future and if you can schedule an appointment then.