If you experience a dental emergency, you should go to the dental office for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. However, immediately after a dental injury occurs, you can take numerous steps to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery. You should be prepared to take these steps by having a dental first aid kit ready at all times.
Immediately after a dental injury occurs, you can take numerous steps to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Preparing a Dental First Aid Kit
To assemble a first aid kit for dental emergencies, you can assemble several familiar items that will help you treat a facial injury or an injury to your teeth. Many of the items in a dental first aid kit will be the same as those in a regular first aid kit, but others are specifically meant to help with dental injuries. Special items can include:
- A small cup to store a dislodged tooth
- Toothpaste or denture adhesive to help secure a loose or dislodged filling
- Mouthwash to disinfect injured tissues
- Gauze to stop bleeding
If a tooth is dislodged, place it in the small cup with water or milk and get to the dental office as soon as possible. If the tooth is set back in the socket promptly, there is a chance it might recover. Fillings or crowns that fall out should be replaced as soon as possible.
Preventing Dental Injuries
Facial and dental injuries are common but are often preventable. If you take precautions to reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies, you might save yourself a trip to the dentist.
Some of the most common causes of dental injuries include:
- Contact sports
- Slips and falls
- Vehicle accidents
You can help reduce your chances of suffering from a dental injury by wearing a mouthguard while playing sports, avoiding uneven, wet, or icy surfaces while walking, and by wearing a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle. If, however, you do suffer an injury to your mouth or teeth, treat it with emergency first aid and see our dentist, Dr. Sweta Sheth as soon as possible.
A dental emergency can be a very stressful situation. Knowing exactly what to do when an emergency situation arises can reduce pain and long term damage. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Cut or Bitten Mouth
Apply wrapped ice to bruised areas. If bleeding, apply gentle pressure with clean gauze of cloth. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes, or if heavy and cant be controlled by simple pressure, go to nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
- Permanent Tooth Knocked Out
Locate the tooth and pick it up carefully, touching the crown(top) only and not the root, if possible. Rinse the tooth if needed, but don’t clean or handle it unnecessarily. If the tooth is whole(not broken or cracked), gently reinsert it in its socket. Hold the tooth in place by biting down on clean gauze or cloth. If you don’t reinsert it, transport it in a cup of milk or mildly salty water. This helps keep the root alive until you can see us. Timeliness is crucial to help save the tooth!
- Broken Tooth
Rinse dirt or debris from injured area with clean, warm water. Place a cold compress over injured area of face to reduce swelling or bruising. Find and save any pieces of broken tooth you can. SEE US IMMEDIATELY.
- Toothache or Sore Gum
Thoroughly clean around the sore area. Rinse by swishing warm salt water and try to dislodge any trapped food or debris with dental floss. Don’t put aspirin directly on teeth or gums, but do take an over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen to help ease the pain until you can see us. If you face is swallon apply cold compress(or a bag of frozen peas can do the trick).
- Possible Broken Jaw
Try to keep the jaw from moving by holding it or gently wrapping a towel or tie around the jaw and head. Get to nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
- Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out
Have your child bite down on clean, folded gauze or cloth over the bleeding area for 15 minutes. Repeat once if necessary, but Call our office if bleeding continues.
- Cold Sores/Canker Sores
Usually over the counter preparations bring relief until sore heal. However, some serious diseases can begin as sores. So let us know if sores worsen and/or persist.
Taking good care of your teeth involves brushing, flossing, and visiting your family dentist, but it also includes some other common sense guidelines to prevent unnecessary damage or premature wear and tear. If you avoid these bad habits, you’ll increase your chances of having strong, healthy teeth for many years to come.
Keeping a Healthy Routine
A regular oral hygiene routine is the best habit you can develop to maintain good dental habits. Many of us fall into the bad habit of skipping brushing or flossing sessions before meals or at bedtime, thus
leaving our teeth vulnerable to attacks from cavity-causing bacteria. We’re also likely to skip appointments with the dentist due to hectic schedules. Regular dental visits are vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so be sure to schedule them according to your dentist’s recommendations.
Another bad habit is not replacing your toothbrush regularly. When the bristles show signs of wear, it’s time for a new toothbrush. In general, you should replace your brush about every three months, whether it’s an electric or a hand-held model.
Harmful Habits That Can Ruin Your Teeth
Other common habits that can cause major damage to your teeth in the long run include:
• Chewing on ice
• Chewing your fingernails
• Chewing on pens and pencils
• Using your teeth to open bottles
• Clenching and grinding your teeth
• Eating sugary foods
• Drinking sugary sodas and other beverages
These habits can cause your teeth to become chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged. If you clench or grind your teeth habitually, you should see your family dentist, because this can be a symptom of a larger issue.
Avoiding sugary foods and beverages helps reduce your chances of developing tooth decay. These foods collect on the surfaces of your teeth and attract bacteria, which leads to decay. These bacteria can also lead to an increased risk of gum disease.
To find out more about habits that can endanger your dental health, please contact our experienced dental team at Bliss Dental for an appointment. Call 972-307-7777 today.
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