Dental Emergency Guidelines

added on: December 29, 2015

Christmas morning often brings bikes, skateboards, roller blades and balls & bats as gifts for both young and not-so-young! We can now add hover boards to the list. While these create fun and entertainment in our lives, as a dentist, I’ve seen a number of chipped, broken, cracked and knocked out teeth as well as cut lips and gums.roller-blading

Mishaps can occur with any of these items, regardless of your age. Should the unexpected happen, here are some tips to help you lessen the impact and hopefully lead to a better outcome:

FIRST AID FOR DENTAL EMERGENCIES

TOOTHACHE – Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm, salt water or use dental floss to gently dislodge trapped food or debris. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and call us as soon as possible. Do not place aspirin on the gum or the aching tooth.

CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK – Apply a cold compress to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or cannot be controlled by simple pressure, go to a hospital emergency room without delay.

KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH – Handle the tooth by the top portion rather than the root. Rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. Time is a critical factor in saving a tooth.

BROKEN TOOTH – Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the area of the injury. Save any broken tooth fragments and call our office immediately.

POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW – If a fractured jaw is suspected, use a tie, towel or handkerchief to tie underneath the chin and over the top of the head. This will help to keep the jaws from moving. Go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

BROKEN BRACES & WIRES – Fortunately, most loose or broken appliances do not require emergency room attention. If the appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If not, cover sharp or protruding portions with cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, do not attempt to remove it. Call our office immediately.

Our office has after-hours instructions on the answering machine in case you need to contact us. We will do everything possible to assist you.

By the way, a custom-fitted mouth guard is an excellent companion to these holiday gifts. And, they can save you tremendously in costs, treatment time, and more. Ask about mouth guards at your next visit or call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.