Just like a medical emergency, a dental emergency can occur at any time. Unfortunately, these crises don’t wait until a convenient time when you can get an appointment. They might occur in the middle of the night or on a weekend. If that happens, what should you do? Read on to learn more about how to handle the situation when you need emergency dental care.
At Home Care
If you have a mouth injury or dental emergency, there are a few things you can do at home to cope with the situation before you head out to the dentist or hospital.
If the wire on your braces breaks, you can try to push it back into a more comfortable position using the eraser end of a pencil. You can also coat the end of the wire with orthodontic wax.
If you have a toothache, first rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be lodged between the teeth. If you have swelling, apply a clean, cold cloth to the inside of the mouth or hold a cold compress against the cheek. This will help to reduce the amount of swelling. Do not hold anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin or acetaminophen against the gum or tooth; this can actually burn the mouth.
If you break or chip a tooth, try to find the broken piece of the tooth. If your mouth is bleeding, apply a piece of wet, clean gauze to the area. You can also use a tea bag to help control the bleeding.
If you lose a filling, you can fill the empty space in the tooth with dental cement. If you do not have dental cement, you can also use a piece of sugarless gum. Just chew it up a bit and stick it into the area from where the filling is missing. Do not use regular gum that contains sugar, as this will cause pain.
If you have knocked a tooth out, try to locate the tooth. If you can find it, place the tooth in a cup of milk. Do not place the tooth in a cup of water or mouthwash. Do not try to clean or scrub the tooth with soap or water. Doing so can do more damage to the tooth and damage the roots, which makes it more difficult to reattach the tooth. Place the tooth in a cup of milk, or, if you don’t have milk, in a cup with your own saliva. Do not try to force the tooth back into the socket. You should then try to get to a dentist as quickly as possible. A dentist is most likely to be able to successfully reattach a tooth if you are seen within one hour of the tooth being knocked out.
If you suspect that you may have broken your jaw, you should go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
In any of these situations, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. Many dentists keep time slots open in their schedule specifically for dealing with dental emergencies. Even if your dentist’s office is closed or they cannot see you right away, they will typically have directions for dealing with emergencies such as these. The dentist may refer you to a walk-in emergency dental clinic.
If you have a dental problem, get in touch with the office of Dr. TJ Bolt. Dr. Bolt provides comprehensive dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Contact Dr. Bolt’s office to schedule an appointment today.