When you have a dental emergency, it is important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible. Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can improve your comfort and the potential outcome of your condition.
Tips for common dental emergencies:
- For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dental office right away.
- If you experience trauma, such as biting your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
- For toothaches, rinse the mouth with luke warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
- For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove them with sharp or pointed instruments.
Precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
- Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
- NEVER use your teeth to cut or open things.