No one expects a dental emergency, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be ready for them. We can even try to prevent them, but accidents do happen, so the next best thing to do is to be prepared for any and all dental emergencies that could hit you or your loved ones. Being prepared for dental emergencies means knowing not just what to do, but what to not do as well. Here are some dental emergency do’s and don’ts that will definitely come in handy once a dental emergency strikes.
DO get to the dentist ASAP
The only thing you can really do in cases of severe dental emergencies is to administer first aid. While you can do something about minor emergencies like objects stuck between teeth without going to the dentist, the more severe ones like knocked-out teeth need a dentist’s attention, so waste no time in bringing yourself or your loved one to the dentist’s office to fix the problem as soon as possible.
In cases of a knocked-out tooth, you should get to a dentist within 15-30 minutes because the chances of successfully re-implanting it into its socket would be better.
DON’T pick up a knocked-out tooth by the root
If you play rough in any way, shape, or form, it would not be surprising if one day, you get a tooth or two knocked out. If something like this happens when you’re playing contact sports or if you get into an accident, know that you still have a chance of saving it during the first hour after the accident.
When you find the knocked-out tooth, pick it up by the crown, not by the root portion to avoid further damage. If the tooth has some dirt on it, use milk or water to rinse it off.
DO keep the knocked-out tooth moist
Any tooth that gets knocked-out needs to be kept moist. While you can opt to drop it into a glass of milk before bringing it to the dentist, you can speed things up by just putting it inside your mouth and keeping it there until you reach the dentist’s office.
DON’T use anything sharp to pick at stuck objects between teeth
Many people panic when they get something sizeable stick between their teeth. Should something like this happen, don’t go panicking and looking for a pin or anything sharp to try to get it out. You risk cutting your gums or scratching the surface of your teeth if you do something like that. Instead, rinse with mouthwash to try to loosen things up, then use dental floss to remove the object as gently and carefully as you can. If that doesn’t work, see your dentist, who should be able to remove the object without causing any damage.
DO save pieces of a chipped or broken tooth
When a tooth gets chipped or broken when you, say, accidentally bit into a chicken bone, do your best to save any broken piece you find because a dentist can still restore them. Rinse your mouth and the broken pieces with warm water.
Sometimes, bleeding comes with a chipped tooth, so apply a piece of gauze to the affected area until the bleeding stops. If there’s any swelling or pain, apply a cold compress outside of the mouth near the affected area to get some relief.
DON’T use aspirin to relieve pain if there’s bleeding
If your dental emergency involves injuries to your gums, other parts of the inside of your mouth, tongue, or lips, it is likely that there will be a certain amount of bleeding and pain. You can hold a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek near the affected area for five to 10 minutes to control bleeding and relieve pain. You also have the option of taking pain reliever medication liksawqzxqdae ibuprofen, but whatever you do, never take aspirin because it’s an anticoagulant, which could make the bleeding worse.
DO prepare an emergency dental-care kit
Always have an emergency dental care kit within reach. Among the things that you should have in your kit are sterile gauze pads, plastic tweezers, cotton rolls, dental floss, and ibuprofen.
It bears repeating that your emergency dental-care kit is only for the application of first aid. As much as possible, always go to the dentist when you have a dental emergency, especially if it’s of the severe kind.