Keeping smiles happy when family comes to town

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December 3rd, 2018



For many, the holidays are a season of families coming together. If this is something you both look forward to and stress about, you’re not alone. A lot of work goes into getting everything ready for a visit!

If you’re hosting holiday celebrations at your place, you may want to add a little prep time to ensure your family’s smiles stay sparkling – especially for relatives traveling from out of town.

Consider stopping by the store beforehand to stock up on these oral health supplies:

  • Extra floss, toothpaste and new toothbrushes in case someone forgets theirs.
  • Mouth-friendly snacks like broccoli, celery, carrots, cheese and nuts.
  • A baby gate so younger guests don’t venture into areas that pose a risk for mouth injuries.
  • Pain medications such as acetaminophen for young children and ibuprofen for adults.
  • A dental emergency kit with items like gauze, bandages, temporary filling material, dental wax for people with braces, dental cement for broken fillings or crowns and hydrogen peroxide for wound disinfection.

Unfortunately, no matter how prepared you are, mouth emergencies can still happen. Make sure you know when to seek professional care.

  • Toothaches are not the time for home remedies. Call your dentist for their advice.
  • Depending on the severity, bitten tongues and lips might be solvable at home, but if bleeding continues, you should go to the emergency room.
  • Professional care is usually needed for chipped teeth.
  • Emergency care is always required for adult teeth that fall out from an injury. If you address a lost tooth quickly enough, you may be able to save it.

Many regular dental offices will likely be closed during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options for professional care. Start by contacting your personal dentist via an after-hours care number. Some dentists will see family members, depending on the circumstances, or can provide a referral to solve the problem. If you end up needing to find a new dentist, look for one in your family member’s dental benefits network.

You can also consider visiting urgent care or the emergency room, when needed. These facilities can help manage pain, but won’t be able to fix teeth. Your dental benefits don’t cover these visits, so you’ll need to check your medical plan.

Your family member will save the most money by visiting a dentist in their plan’s network. If they’re covered by Delta Dental, visit our Find a Dentist tool to quickly and easily find an in-network dentist near you!

Stay safe and be prepared!

Happy holidays!