Dentist trip is a pre-holiday essential, say dental experts

A flying visit to the dentist before your summer holiday could help you avoid difficulties when travelling abroad – according to the UK’s leading oral health charity.

The British Dental Health Foundation advises that if you are planning to go overseas this summer – and have not had a check-up recently – you should book to see a dentist beforehand as a precaution and to eliminate potential long-term damage to your oral health.

Chief executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said that a trip to the dentists should be a part of everyone’s pre-holiday preparations.

Dr Carter said: ‘Going to the dentist may not be at the forefront of your mind when preparing to go on holiday but it should not be ignored. When abroad, we tend to eat more sugary foods and drinks and be more relaxed with our dental routine so it is vital that you know your teeth are in good shape before you leave.

The Foundation has also recommended that you take steps and plan for any dental emergencies that could arise while you’re away.

‘Packing any prescribed medications and personal identification, as well as having searched for where all the best hospitals or health centres are, is just as important as remembering all your travel essentials.

‘Emergency dental care in other countries can also be both expensive and of variable quality.

‘Although dental emergencies can develop at anytime, it can be a draining experience and ruin your plans if they occur during a holiday.

‘The message, cliché though it may be, is ‘better to be safe than sorry’ and even though all your pre-planning will not prevent the emergency, it will make it easier for you if something does go wrong,’ Dr Carter adds.

Emergencies can range from painful toothaches to broken, loosened or knocked-out teeth. Whenever dental pain or trauma occurs, it is critical to seek immediate treatment to maintain oral health and possibly save teeth.

The Foundation advises that you take extra care and keep to a strict dental routine while away, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

If you need any tips on handling dental emergencies or further advice on dental precautions before going abroad, contact the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188 or

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