What you can do at home before you see us

FIRST AID For Dental Emergencies

We know dental emergencies can be scary and painful.

We have some things you can do before you can get to us.

Below you will find some temporary solutions you can try at home.

01.

Toothaches

First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Take a pain reliever such as aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen following the manufacture’s dosage amount after checking with your physician. You can also try an over-the-counter topical anesthetic with 5% to 20% benzocaine applied every two hours.

02.

Lost Filling

As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. Call our office as soon as possible.
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03.

Extruded (Partially Dislodged) Tooth

Call our office right away. Until you reach our office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed.
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04.

Chipped Or Broken Teeth

Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze or a moistened tea bag to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. Call our office as soon as possible.

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05.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available). In all cases, call our office as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
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06.

Abscess

Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, call us as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.
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07.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do: * Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution. *Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes. *To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes. *If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.
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08.

Broken Braces And Wires

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to our office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.
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09.

Lost Crown

If the crown falls off and you can’t get to our office right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
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10.

Objects Caught Between Teeth

First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.
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11.

Severe Pain

The most common causes are debris lodged under the gum line, a lost filling or crown, a cracked or broken tooth, or an infection. Only a thorough examination by your dentist can determine the underlying cause of severe pain. Until you see your dentist, apply ice to the painful area for 10-20 minutes of every hour. To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
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12.

Loose Brackets And Bands

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. Call us as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call us as soon as possible.
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