As vacation season starts up, it is important to remember that dental emergencies can sneak up at any time, in particular when you are away from home. Mishaps and accidents can happen at any age, so it is important to plan as much as possible for the unexpected.
First Aid for Dental Emergencies
- Cut/Bitten lip, cheek or tongue – apply a cold compress to keep swelling down and apply firm but gentle pressure to the wound if it is bleeding. Use clean gauze or cloth. If the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, head to the ER asap.
- Knocked out tooth – always handle by the top and never touch the roots. It is ok to rinse it if it is dirty, but do not clean it too hard. Try to reinsert the tooth, but do not force it. To keep it viable if it will not go back into the socket, keep the tooth in a container of milk or between your gum and lip.
- Broken tooth – Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove debris from the area. Save any broken tooth fragments that you can.
- Toothache – Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Using warm water and salt, rinse the mouth to dislodge trapped debris that could be causing the toothache. Over the counter pain medicine can be taken for pain, but do not place aspiring in the gum or on the aching
Many injuries from emergencies can be avoided through prevention, which can save you tremendously in costs down the road. For sports, consider a dentist made custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and mouth from trauma. A small investment can save you money and teeth!