Tips for common dental emergencies
- Toothache – Rinse with warm water, and floss to dislodge any loose food. Then apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables, frozen gel, etc.) to your face to reduce swelling, but never use a pain reliever like aspirin directly on the gums near the sore tooth.
- Chipped or Broken Tooth – If bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area until the bleeding stops, and apply an ice pack to the face to reduce swelling and pain. Save the pieces!
- Knocked Out Adult Tooth – Rinse the tooth, being careful not to remove any tissue fragments, and gently try putting it back into place. Please don’t force it. If it won’t go back in place, put the tooth in a glass of milk or a cup of water with a bit of salt (the best chance of saving the tooth is if it’s put back within an hour). If it is only partially dislodged, apply an ice pack, and take some pain reliever if necessary.
- Something Stuck Between Your Teeth? – Use floss! Never pick at it with a sharp object because you could cut your gums or scratch your tooth.
- A Crown Fell Off – NEVER use super-glue to re-attach it! If the tooth is sensitive, use an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. If you have an OTC dental cement, coat the crown’s interior and put it back over the tooth.
- A Lost Filling – If you have OTC dental cement, apply it over the tooth. If you don’t have dental cement, use a piece of sugarless gum. Sugared gum will cause discomfort.
- Broken Braces Wire – Using an eraser, push the wire into a more comfortable position. If this doesn’t help, cover the wire with orthodontic wax or a small cotton ball. Never cut the wire, as you could swallow it or inhale it into your lung.