When a dental emergency arises, you need to have your dentist on speed dial. Most dentists have a specific amount of time set aside should dental emergencies arise. Whether travelling or at home, the following tips can help you in the event of a dental emergency until you can see your dentist.
Knocking out your tooth requires prompt attention. If the appropriate steps are taken, there is a good chance the tooth can be preserved and reinserted by a dentist.
- If you are able to locate the tooth, pick it up by the crown, not the root. Rinse the tooth off. Don’t scrub the tooth or attempt to remove anything from its surface.
- Remember to place a towel in the bottom of the sink.
- You can attempt to place the tooth back into its socket very gently. Hold it in place and be sure not to bite down.
- If reinserting the tooth isn’t an option, you need to store in a small container, preferably in milk .
- If your child loses a baby tooth, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately to decide the best course of action. They need to determine if there are remaining fragments of the tooth still lodged in your child’s mouth.
Chipped and Fractured Teeth
Although a chipped tooth isn’t aesthetically pleasing, if it isn’t painful, you could wait a day or two if necessary. However, since there is a risk of further chipping when eating, seeing your dentist as soon as possible is the best route to go. Your dentist will probably smooth away the chip or simply add composite to your tooth. In this case, the main goal is to preserve the tooth and prevent further chipping.
On the other hand, a fractured or cracked tooth is a serious dental emergency which warrants an immediate visit. Teeth that are cracked or fractured usually represent a more internal problem with the affected tooth. In addition, if the tooth is severely fractured, it might need to be extracted. If you or a family member cracks or fractures a tooth, call your dentist immediately. In the interim, rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is swelling, apply ice packs to help keep it to a minimum.
If you notice a loose tooth, call your dentist for an appointment. You can try to gently push your tooth back into its original position. Never use force as this can cause permanent damage to the tooth. Your dentist may try to stabilize the tooth by splinting it to others.
Although it’s impossible to know when an accident is going to happen, taking a few precautions to protect your teeth is the key to happy smiles. For example:
When participating in sports or other recreational activities, always wear a mouthguard.
Avoid chewing hard candy, popcorn kernels and ice as these are known offenders for broken teeth.
Even if it’s tempting to use your teeth to open that bag of chips, play it safe and use scissors. Never use your teeth to open anything.
While it’s true that accidents happen, knowing how to handle a dental emergency makes all the difference in the world. Always remember to call your dentist first!