Our mouths are used constantly throughout our days. Whether we are talking about our day at the dinner table, or eating the meal set before us, our teeth, jaw, mouth, and gums are very important. However, they can take a back seat to other major illness or ailments. In these uncertain times, knowing what you can do in the event of a dental emergency can mean the difference between a simple dentist visit or a major dental setback. Also, what can you expect when you do have that unfortunate emergent visit to the dentist? At Maestri Family Dental, we take pride in providing the best family dental care, and these tips can allow you to step into our office and feel confident that not only have you taken the best preventative and proactive steps, but that you and/or your family member will have the best care.
Dental emergencies are never situations that we enjoy. We would prefer to never have a broken tooth, fractured jaw, nor a lost tooth or filling. However, being prepared for those emergencies can save you precious time and money if getting to your local dentist is not a immediate option. Of course, you should always seek medical attention when needed and seek advice from your local health care professionals.
Here are some tips and basics to know about dental emergencies and how to treat them prior to seeing your dental specialist:
There are some basic supplies that one should have in their possession in case of a dental emergency. These tools can also be used for a variety of ailments, so adding these to your first aid kit is a great idea!
- Paraffin (wax)
Should a dental emergency occur to you or someone you love, these items can help thwart pain and control the symptoms until a dentist or doctor can be seen. Once these steps have been taken, make sure that you know your options on how your dentist can best treat the patient. That can be through a physical visit or sometimes an electronic or tele-visit. Knowing your options is another trick you can hold onto in case of a bad situation.
Emergencies can be scary and overwhelming. However, if you can remember these small steps, you are taking yourself or your loved in the right direction towards getting the ailment resolved. Let’s go over a few situations that may occur:
Oh no! Little Johnny knocked his tooth out playing dodge ball! What do you do? Start off by rinsing out their mouth, but do not scrub the area. Make sure to put as little pressure on the affected area as possible. If possible, reinsert the tooth, but do not force it. Putting too much excess pressure on the area may do more harm than good. If the tooth cannot be safely and gently put back in, save the tooth in a container of milk or warm water with a tooth-saving solution. You can find this at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Lastly, get “Little Johnny” to see a dentist as soon as possible, preferably within an hour, to have the best chance of saving the tooth as possible.
Ouch! Sarah cracked and broke her tooth while cheering! What do you do? Start by rinsing out their mouth with warm water. If the broken or cracked tooth is bleeding, apply a small amount of gauze to the area for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has ceased. Apply a cold rag or ice pack to the area to help reduce the pain and swelling that may occur. Finally, take Sarah to the dentist as soon as possible in order to salvage the remaining tooth.
Ah! Derek wakes up with a terrible toothache! What do you do? Start by rinsing their mouth well and gently floss to remove any food particles that are stuck in between teeth. If the area is swollen, use a cold compress to counteract the swelling. Take over-the-counter medications for any pain or discomfort. However, NEVER place aspirin directly the teeth or gum area! Schedule an appointment with your dentist if the pain or swelling continues.
Ow! Megan fractures/breaks/hurts her jaw while rough-housing with her sibling. What do you do? Immediately immobilize the jaw however possible. Use a handkerchief, a necktie, or even a towel or shirt to wrap around the head to prevent any movement of the jaw. Go to the nearest hospital’s emergency room as soon as possible!
Uh oh! George lost his filling! What do you do? Cover the cavity entirely with paraffin to seal it shut from food particles or any liquids. Take aspirin as needed for pain, and schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the filling replaced.
In these dubious times, more and more dental practices, including Maestri Family Dental, are offering patients the option to have a digital consultation and evaluations for non-emergent situations. These appointments can be scheduled online. The appointments are conducted by a licensed dentist, and can be done via video conference or voice session. From these appointments, the dentist can view and take pictures of your teeth, prescribe any medication they deem necessary, go over treatment options for you, as well as refer you to a specialist or local dentist office. They can also refer you to one or more of the following:
- Oral surgeon
If you have any question regarding your dental health or how you can prepare for dental emergencies, visit or call Maestri Family Dental, and our team will be glad to assist you!