You might not consider your oral health first and foremost when you’re preparing for a natural disaster. But dental challenges can arise at any time.
You can help keep everyone in your family safe and healthy if you know what to do during a disaster like a hurricane, earthquake, flood or other emergency that can make accessing dental care difficult.
To help prepare for disasters, consider keeping an emergency kit on hand, one that includes items that could be useful if dental issues arise. Check that your disaster emergency kit includes:
One of the primary threats to your oral and overall health after any natural disaster is contaminated water. Do not brush your teeth, wash your hands, prepare food or wash dishes with contaminated water. To learn more about making water safe during an emergency, refer to this flyer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When faced with a dental emergency during a disaster, keeping calm and finding prompt professional care are among the most important things you can do.
Try to visit a dentist as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
If the pain, swelling or bleeding are severe, seek immediate medical attention.
During a natural disaster, accessing care may take longer than usual. Here’s how to handle some common dental issues while you’re seeking help:
If a natural disaster prevents you from finding medical attention, consider alternate ways of accessing care, including virtual dentistry tools. You can also call Delta Dental Customer Service or contact us through our online customer service form on the Delta Dental website for assistance.
Depending on the severity of the disaster, local, state or federal governments may respond by offering emergency oral health care and other medical services. To find out if oral health care services are available in your area, call your local health department or listen for public safety announcements on local TV and radio stations.
Whatever you do, don’t just ignore dental pain and hope it will go away. If you ignore the pain and swelling of an infection, it can continue to spread through your bloodstream. Dental infections are dangerous because of their proximity to your face and brain.
Whenever local, state or federal government declares a disaster, Delta Dental helps work to ensure you will not owe unreasonable fees if you have to visit an out-of-network dentist. If you’ve encountered a special situation or other extenuating circumstances resulting from a natural disaster, contact the Delta Dental customer service center for assistance.
Last updated December 27, 2022
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.