If you’ve ever fallen and injured your mouth or teeth, you might have needed emergency dentistry. Just in case of injuries to the mouth, you should always be prepared for a dental emergency so you can apply first aid before heading off to the dentist for more comprehensive treatment.
Responding to Dental Injuries
Immediate emergency dentistry can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Dental first aid can also help prevent infection and keep the wound from becoming more serious, particularly if you can’t get to the dentist right away. If you’re prepared for this kind of injury, you’ll be able to respond that much more quickly.
One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a dental first aid kit ready to go. The necessary materials can be kept along with your standard first aid kit or a special, separate kit specifically for oral injuries. It should include:
- Gauze to stop bleeding
- Mouthwash to help clean wounds
- Toothpaste or denture adhesive to temporarily hold lost crowns or fillings in place
- A small cup or a special kit to preserve a knocked-out tooth
- A knocked-out tooth should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t have a kit specially designed for preserving a tooth that’s been knocked out, you can fill a small cup with water or milk and use it to transport the tooth to your dentist.
When to See the Dentist
Some injuries to the mouth are not severe and don’t require a trip to the dentist. However, if any teeth are loose, broken, or have been dislodged, you should see the dentist right away. With immediate care, these teeth might be salvageable. Without professional medical treatment, though, they’re more likely to be lost permanently.
Lost crowns and fillings should also be attended to promptly. In the meantime, you can use toothpaste or a denture adhesive to hold them in place. Other injuries, such as lacerations, bruises, tears, or cuts, can be treated at home if they are minor, but if they require stitches or other special care, see a doctor as soon as possible.
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