Having an accident that involves your teeth can be one of the scariest types of trauma. It’s not only painful, but brings to mind images of a broken or gapped smile. Unfortunately, reports suggest that over half a million people seek treatment in the emergency room each year for dental related issues. Many emergency rooms are not equipped or trained to handle dental problems, so sometimes all you can do is wait to see your dentist.
Since it’s impossible to know exactly when an accident will happen, it’s a good idea to be prepared with items helpful in a dental emergency. Suggested items to include in a dental emergency kit are gauze, Q-tips, salt packets, a small container, over-the-counter pain medication, and sugarless gum. Also include the phone number for your dentist.
If your mouth is damaged in an accident, first rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Follow the directions on the label to take pain medication if necessary. If inner parts of your tooth like the nerves or dentin have been damaged, try covering the area with sugarless gum to protect it until you can get professional treatment.
Sometimes oral injuries can be handled at home until your dentist is available, but more serious situations require seeking care immediately from an emergency dental facility. Some symptoms that usually suggest immediate treatment include facial swelling that is accompanied by a toothache, or uncontrollable bleeding.
If your tooth is knocked out, find it and rinse it with water. Gently try to replace it in the socket. If it can’t be reinserted, place it in a small container with milk or slightly salty water. Ideally, you need to see your dentist within the first couple of hours in order to restore a dislodged tooth.
Following this advice for emergency dental care will help you handle the situation more calmly and know what to do if it happens to you or someone you are with.
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