Are You Prepared Enough for Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies are some of the least pleasant circumstances that we want ourselves to find in. Being aware of the immediate steps to be taken, can help make such circumstances less painful.

However, there is no replacement for professional dental care and the quick actions do not suffice the treatment required for a dental emergency. But these reactions do help you by the time you reach a dentist.

How to take care of your oral health in these trying times?

1) How can I ease a toothache?

When you experience a sharp toothache, you should:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water
  2. Apply a cold compress to the swelling
  3. Take pain relief medicines
  4. Rub aspirin on the hurting tooth or gum

Answer: A, B and C

All three options help reduce toothache up to a great extent. But if the pain continues after rinsing your mouth with warm water, applying a cold compress and taking a pain reliever, you must consult a dentist.

Our dentists strongly discourage the practice of rubbing aspirin on the hurting tooth or gum. Because the acidity of the contents in aspirin can harm the enamel of your teeth or burn the gums.

2) How can I decrease swelling?

When you notice a part of your mouth swollen, you should:

  1. Apply a cold compress
  2. Take medicine
  3. Use clove oil

Answer: A

A cold compress gently pressed against the swelling can reduce swelling. Taking medicines or using clove oil is not encouraged because before going for any of these, you may need to know the cause for the swelling.

3) My tooth is chipped or cracked. What should I do?

If any of your teeth get damaged due to an injury or trauma, what can you do?

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water
  2. Contact your dentist
  3. Apply gauze
  4. Apply a cold compress

Answer: All of the above

All the remedies written above can help to deal with a chipped or cracked tooth. Gauze can be applied if your gums are bleeding and visit a dentist immediately if it doesn’t stop within 10 minutes. A chipped tooth can damage the insides of your mouth or lips, you need to be careful about that.

4) My tooth has been knocked out. What now?

When any of your teeth get knocked out, you can

  1. Place the tooth back in its socket
  2. Rinse it with milk or saliva
  3. Rinse it with water thoroughly
  4. Visit your dentist

Answer: A, B or D

Do not rinse the fallen tooth with water as it contains germs. If the tooth is intact and can be put back in its place, you should do it after rinsing it with milk or saliva. If you think you cannot put it in its place, keep the tooth submerged in milk or saliva till you meet your emergency dentist.

5) There’s something trapped in my teeth. How can I remove it?

What if you notice something stuck between your teeth, you should:

  1. Remove it with floss
  2. Remove it with a sharp object
  3. Make an appointment with your dentist

Answer: A or B

Debris stuck between your teeth can be tried to remove at home. But if it doesn’t come loose, you need to stop trying and contact your dentist. Using sharp objects to remove the debris can harm adjacent gums or cheek lining. The enamel of your teeth may also get scraped by sharp objects, making your teeth more susceptible to plaque.

6) What if a filling comes out of my tooth?

In case a filling has come loose, what can you do?

  1. Cover the cavity with a sugar-free chewing gum
  2. Fill the cavity with dental cement
  3. Make an appointment to see your dentist

Answer: All of the above (especially C)

The first thing to be done is to make an appointment with your dentist. If it is going to take a while before you see your dentist, you can try to apply dental cement or sugar-free chewing gum inside the cavity as a temporary measure. Dental cement should be used only if you think you are experienced and can use it correctly.

7) What should I do if my dental crown comes off?

When a dental crown falls off, can you put it back?

  1. Reattach it using dental cement
  2. Reattach it using sugar-free chewing gum
  3. Reattach it using toothpaste
  4. Make an emergency dental appointment

Answer: D

The only way to mend a fallen dental crown is by contacting your dentist immediately. Do not try and put it back in any way. Contact your dentist and follow through the instructions.

8) My braces have come loose. What should I do?

Should you try to reattach your braces?

  1. Reattach brackets using orthodontic wax
  2. Try covering exposed wires with cotton, gauze or wax
  3. Visit your dentist or orthodontist
  4. Remove the wires yourself

Answer: A, B, and C

If orthodontic wax is available, you can try holding a loose bracket in place temporarily with it. But if it’s the wires that are damaged, try covering them with soft materials so that they do not harm your cheeks, gums, tongue or any other soft tissues. Do this as a temporary measure until you see your dentist. And do not try to remove any part of the braces yourself.

9) My cheek, lip or tongue is bleeding. What should I do?

If you have bitten or cut any soft tissues in your mouth, you should:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm, salty water
  2. Apply a cold compress or ice pack
  3. Apply gauze or tea bag
  4. Contact your dentist

Answer: All of the above

Saltwater helps reduce the pain and the risk of infections. Cold compress and ice pack help to reduce swelling. A gauze or tea bag can help reduce blood flow from the wound. If the bleeding continues for more than 15 minutes, you need to see your dentist right away.

10) How can I prevent dental emergencies?

What can be done to prevent dental emergencies from happening?

  1. Wear a mouthguard when playing sport
  2. Avoid crunching ice or other non-edible objects
  3. Avoid opening bottle caps, packaging or nuts with your teeth

Answer: All of the above

Taking the necessary precautions can help prevent many dental emergencies. Wearing mouthguard for playing sports and avoiding chewing non-edible objects can prevent unnecessary dental injuries. Prevention is the best remedy when it comes to dental emergencies.

But if the situation arises, you may be happy to know that we are open and ready to help you with any dental emergencies. You can get in touch with our Melbourne dentist at Healthy Smiles Dental Group or reach us at 03 9877 2035.

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