Dental Emergency 9-1-1!

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safety first signYou’re spending the afternoon with your family at the park. The kids are playing Frisbee in an open area when all of a sudden you hear a crash and a scream from your youngest. He’s holding something in his hand and between sobs you can see blood gathering in his mouth and that there’s an open spot where his canine is supposed to be. He’s lost a tooth. The fact is, dental emergencies happen; and that time until you can get in to see a dentist can be a crucial one. Here are some tips to follow if you happen to run into some tooth turmoil:

Knocked-Out Tooth:

Do:

  • Pick up tooth by the crown (top part), NOT the root.
  • Rinse blood or debris off the tooth with milk (milk is the best way to keep the tooth from drying) or cold running water if milk isn’t available.
  • If possible, reinsert tooth back into socket and gently push it in with your finger or bite a clean cloth to hold it in.
  • If you can’t reinsert it, place the tooth in a container of milk, or a damp cloth if milk isn’t available.
  • Get to the dentist immediately – teeth that are replanted within 30 minutes have the best chances of surviving.

Don’t:

  • Don’t touch or scrub the root.

Bleeding in the Mouth:

Do:

  • Use clean gauze to apply pressure to the area bleeding for 5 minutes to try and stop bleeding.
  • If bleeding continues, press a moistened tea bag against the cut for 5 minutes.
  • If you can’t stop bleeding call your dentist.
  • If bleeding won’t stop, is significant and you are unable to reach your dentist, go to the hospital.

Don’t:

  • Don’t rinse your mouth (especially if the bleeding is caused by an extracted tooth, rinsing can affect the socket).

Broken Tooth:

Do:

  • Gather any broken pieces and rinse mouth with warm water.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Place gum or dental wax over any sharp edges of remaining tooth to avoid further cuts and damage to your mouth.
  • If the break involved the dentin or pulp of the tooth, call your dentist immediately.
  • If the break only involved crown or enamel of the tooth, call your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t eat hard foods.

Broken or Lost Filling/Crown:

Do:

  • Save the filling/crown to bring with you to the dentist.
  • Place dental wax over any sharp edges to prevent damage or cuts to your mouth.
  • Use denture adhesive to reattach a crown until you can get in to see your dentist.
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to replace a filling yourself.
  • Don’t eat very hot or cold foods/drinks.

Toothache:

Do:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply ice to the area.
  • Remove any food particles or debris between teeth with dental floss.
  • Call your dentist for advice and have the tooth examined if needed.

Don’t:

  • Don’t place any pain reliever directly on the tooth/gum.
  • Don’t use or apply any heat.
  • Don’t eat extreme foods (very hot, cold, sweet or spicy).

Mouth Sores:

Do:

  • Use an over-the-counter anesthetic (like Orajel) for temporary relief.
  • Rinse mouth with warm salt water.
  • Apply ice or a paste (by mixing baking soda and water) to the sore for a few minutes.
  • See your dentist if the sore doesn’t heal in about a week, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Don’t:

  • Don’t put aspirin or pain relievers directly on the sore.
  • Don’t take antibiotics unless they are actually prescribed for the sore.
  • Don’t use any steroid creams.
  • Don’t use a hot pack.

Broken Dental Appliances:

Do:

  • Save all pieces to bring them to your dentist.
  • Cover any sharp spots or protrusions with dental wax to prevent further damage or injury/irritation.
  • If a denture, remove until you can get to the dentist.
  • See your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to bend, fix or glue pieces back together yourself.
  • Don’t wrap pieces in a tissue, because it could easily be thrown away by mistake.

Dental emergencies aren’t the end of the world, but they can be painful and scary! Remember that in the event of a dental emergency, your number one resource is a dentist. These are just some things to keep in mind and do until you can call or get to them! girl with broken tooth

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