Dental Emergency

Preventing & Dealing With Dental Emergencies

Hopefully, you never need emergency dental work, but it’s a risk we run every time we get behind the wheel, take part in athletics or simply go about our daily lives. So what should you do in a dental emergency and how do you know if you require emergency dental assistance? Here’s how to go about preventing and dealing with dental emergencies.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

As is the case with any medical or dental ailment, preventing the condition is much preferred to treating it. Here are some tips for preventing dental emergencies.

  • Wear a Mouthguard – If you’re playing a sport, even if it’s not a physical sport, consider adding a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  • Watch What You Chew – Jawbreakers, popcorn kernels and ice are all hard objects that can result in a broken or cracked tooth if chewed on recklessly, so be careful when chewing hard objects.
  • Your Mouth Is Not A Tool – Don’t try to rip open that plastic encasing or unscrew a stuck bottle cap with your teeth, otherwise you can end up with a cracked tooth or open wound.
  • Know Your Limits – If you’re biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, waterskiing or participating in any recreational activities that could cause mouth damage if you fall, know your limits and stay in control so as not to fall. And be sure to wear a helmet!

Responding To Dental Emergencies

Let’s say that despite your best efforts, you or your child has suffered an injury to their mouth. What should you do?

If you’ve lost one of your permanent teeth, try to locate the tooth and rinse it off if possible. You’re going to want to get to a dentist’s office as soon as possible, but you also have to care for your tooth in the meantime. You want to keep the tooth moist, and you can do this in a couple of ways. Sometimes you can actually place the tooth back in its socket, and it will remain there, albeit loosely. If that’s too painful or not possible, you can put it between your cheek and gums, in a glass of milk, or in a tooth preservation product until you can get to a dentist’s office.

If you’ve suffered a cracked tooth, remove any food particles from your mouth and rinse with warm water. Then use an icepack on the outside of your mouth nearest the cracked tooth to help prevent swelling from setting in, and again make your way to the dentist as soon as possible.

Finally, if an object is caught in your mouth and causing pain, try to remove it using dental floss. If you cannot remove the object with floss, call your dentist and try to set up an appointment as soon as possible so they can remove the object. Do not use sharp or pointed tools to try and remove the object. Floss usually works better and it doesn’t risk damaging your teeth.

Hopefully, you’ll never need emergency dental work, but if you do, stay calm and reach out to Dr. Brooks right away.