Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Traumatic cases may need emergency room attention, but here are some tips for common dental emergencies:
· For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, call us right away.
· For a cracked tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. See your dentist ASAP.
· If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a moist cold compress.
· For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do NOT put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. It may cause a burn on your cheek or gums. You can swallow an aspirin as you would for any other pain.
· For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:
· Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. A custom made guard will protect your teeth far better than one bought over the counter.
· Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
· Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.
“It is important for patients to follow with a dental visit. X-rays are imperative, you can’t always feel a problem inside your mouth. Many silent problems are discovered with x-rays and can be treated early and with less discomfort,” says Dr. Mary Dooley.
At Total Care Dentistry, our patient promise means we will see your emergency the same day. We never want you to be in pain, and will even see new patients on a moments notice. Give us a call at 757-486-4880. (Source: ADA)