Emergencies are scary, whether they happen to you or to someone you love. If it is a dental emergency, as with any emergency, you should try to remain calm. You should also see your dentist as soon as possible. Before you head off to the dentist, though, here are some things you can do to protect your teeth and mouth in a dental emergency.
A chipped, broken, or cracked tooth
At first, this may not seem like an emergency situation. However, a cracked tooth can easily and quickly collect bacteria, and the crack in the tooth can easily get bigger and bigger. A damaged tooth with a sharp edge can also cut the inside of your mouth.
If you have pieces of the tooth, rinse and save them. Rinse out your mouth with warm water and place a cotton ball or gauze in between the tooth and your cheek to prevent injury to the tissue. Use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth to keep swelling down.
A tooth that has been knocked out
If this happens to you, pick up the tooth carefully, holding it by the crown, never the roots. Rinse the tooth carefully with water. Don’t rub it to remove debris or wash off any tissue that remains on the roots. Rinse your mouth with warm water. If you can, put the tooth back into its empty socket; you can use a tea bag, some gauze, or a cotton ball to help it stay in place. You want to keep your tooth moist at all times, so if putting it back into the socket won’t work, place it in a cup of milk or even a cup with some of your own saliva in it. A cold compress outside of the mouth can help with pain and swelling.
If you have a tooth emergency, follow these steps, and then call your dentist as soon as possible. Pacific Northwest Smiles provides emergency dental services and they are here to help! Have the number stored in your phone in case of an emergency – call 425-357-6400 right away.