When disaster strikes and you’re faced with a dental emergency, don’t panic. With advances in dental technology most dental emergencies can be treated quickly. First things first, if you experience a dental emergency, it is important to try to see your dentist as soon as possible. If the accident happens when your dental practice is not open go straight to the emergency room if the accident is severe. If you are wondering what to do right after a dental emergency happens, here are some quick tips to help you while in route or while waiting to be seen by your dentist.
If you or a loved one knock’s out a permanent or adult tooth, or even a dental implant, it’s important to keep it moist. You can place the dislodged tooth between your cheek and gum, in a glass of milk or in a tooth preservation product. For a cracked tooth, try rinsing your mouth with warm water to thoroughly clean the area. If the compromised tooth is causing discomfort, try placing a cold compress on your face.
Severe toothaches may require an emergency appointment. If a tooth is causing major discomfort and you don’t know why, gently clean the area with warm water. Carefully use dental floss to remove any food or debris surrounding the tooth. If the pain persists, call your dentist.
Some dental emergencies don’t involve the teeth, rather the tongue, cheek or lip. If you accidently bite through your tongue, cheek or lip, gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress. You may want to go to the emergency room for stitches.
If you think you have a broken jaw, apply a cold compress to help control any swelling and go straight to the dentist or the emergency room. Anytime you have an object stuck in your mouth or between your teeth, you can try swishing with warm water or using floss to dislodge. Don’t ever try to remove a stuck item with a sharp object.
The best way to avoid dental emergencies include wearing a protective mouth guard when playing sports, avoid chewing hard things that can crack your teeth like popcorn kernels, hard candy, pen caps or ice. Remember your teeth are not meant to be a bottle or bag opener, they are also not designed to cut things. Next time you need to remove that tag from a new shirt, grab the scissors instead of using your pearly whites.