No one plans for a dental emergency, but it is a good idea to know what to do when the unexpected happens. Even if the problem seems minor now, delaying treatment can lead to bigger problems down the road. Let’s take a look at how to handle common dental emergencies.
Remedies for Common Dental Emergencies
Broken Braces or Wires
Never cut a wire that breaks or pops out of a bracket. Tiny metal pieces can wreak havoc on your digestive or respiratory systems. Instead, use an eraser to guide the wire to a less harmful position. If all else fails, cover the irritating portion of wire with orthodontic wax, a cotton ball, or gauze and head to the orthodontist as soon as possible.
If a filling comes out, clean the area and use a piece of orthodontic wax to fill the hole temporarily. There is an over-the-counter dental cement that can be used until you get to the dentist. Take the filling with you if possible.
Gently clean and dry the tooth and the crown. Use denture adhesive or dental cement to temporarily hold the crown in place. Do not attempt a permanent repair with super glue or you may end up spending more on future repair work.
Objects Stuck Between Teeth
Try brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush and then use floss or dental picks to gently dislodge the object. Never use items like paper clips or pins since they can damage gums and enamel.
Knocked Out Tooth
- Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown, not the roots.
- If it is dirty, rinse with salt water or milk. Do not rub to clean or you risk damaging attached tissue fragments.
- Gently reinsert the tooth into the socket and gently bite down on a gauze pad on your way to the dentist. If reinsertion is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk or a cup of water with a pinch of salt. If it is an older child or an adult who can hold the tooth in their mouth, that is an option if nothing else is available. Getting to the dentist within an hour is imperative to saving a tooth that has been knocked out.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Rinse your mouth with warm water. Save and rinse any broken pieces to take to the dentist. Apply gauze if there is bleeding in the mouth. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain from the outside. If the break has exposed nerves, you will want to visit the dentist as soon as possible.
Hot coffee and fresh pizza are great… until they are not. A scorched palate runs the risk of infection, so you should consider using a corticosteroid gel that is safe for oral use to protect the mucous membrane.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Begin by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. Apply pressure to any bleeding areas with moist gauze or a tea bag until the bleeding stops. Use a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. If bleeding does not stop within 15-20 minutes, get to the dentist or emergency room as quickly as possible.
Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment
The Abbotsford dentists at Clayburn Dental are here to help preserve and protect your teeth and gums. Dental emergencies rarely happen at convenient times. Knowing what to do can help prevent infection or even save a tooth. If you are in need of an emergency dentist, give us a call at 604-582-8487.