11 Dec 5 Ways to Handle Common Dental Accidents This Christmas
With everything going on this holiday season, the last thing you need is a dental emergency. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to schedule an emergency dental appointment due to a practice’s holiday schedule. You’ll need a plan to deal with the problem until you can see your dentist.
To help you prepare for whatever tooth emergency you have, we’ll cover:
- A tooth falling out
- Oral pain
- A broken or chipped tooth
- Bleeding gums
- Preventing dental emergencies by maintaining good oral health
None of these suggestions will cure your symptoms. Instead, they’ll help you manage them until you’re able to see your dentist.
1. What to Do When Your Tooth Falls Out
You’ll need to act fast if one of your adult teeth falls out unexpectedly. Teeth don’t remain viable for long once outside of the mouth, so safe storage is key until you can see your dentist.
If your tooth falls out and you can’t see your dentist right away, make sure to:
- Pick your tooth up by the crown. Never pick up a lost tooth by the root
- Wash it off with some milk or saliva if dirty. Don’t use soap to scrub the missing tooth
- Put it directly back into the socket if possible. Just make sure it’s facing the right direction
- Use a clean piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place
- Store it in a tooth preservation kit from your local drug store.
Never store your tooth in tap water. Tap water may contain chlorine which can permanently damage the root, making the tooth unusable.
2. Relieving a Toothache While You Wait to See A Dentist
Mouth pain can occur for multiple reasons. It could be a result of teeth grinding, tooth decay, or a cracked tooth, just to name a few causes. Whatever the cause, you’ll need to relieve your pain until you’re able to see your dentist.
To relieve oral pain during the holidays, try using:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Warm saltwater
- Hydrogen peroxide
OTC pain relievers containing ibuprofen or acetaminophen are perfect for alleviating pain and swelling. Just make sure to follow the directions closely. Swishing warm salt water provides a similar effect when done a few times per day. Remember to floss beforehand to get rid of any food and bacteria for the best results.
Whether it’s cubes or a cold compress, ice can also help relieve mouth pain and swelling. Don’t put it directly on the affected area since this could increase pain. Instead, gently hold it on your face.
Like warm salt water, hydrogen peroxide can help fight infections and bacteria that may be in your mouth. Mix a small amount with water for a homemade mouthwash. Just don’t swallow it!
It’s important to remember that none of these are cures for what’s causing your oral pain. However, they should help alleviate your symptoms through the holidays until you can see your dentist. You’ll still need to see your dentist in order to find the cause of your mouth pain and develop a treatment plan.
3. How to Deal With A Broken or Chipped Tooth
No one plans on breaking or chipping a tooth. Unfortunately, you could find yourself breaking a tooth during Christmas dinner. So what do you do? First of all, stay calm. You don’t want to cause an even bigger chip, crack, or break by panicking. Your main goal will be to preserve the tooth until you can see your dentist.
Make sure to swish some warm water in your mouth. After that, apply ice to the outside of the affected area. Do this every few minutes to help prevent swelling. You can also take OTC pain relievers to prevent pain and swelling.
For small chips and breaks, you can use dental wax to prevent any cuts from the jagged edge. This product can be found at most drug stores and often comes in a special kit. Just apply the wax to the jagged to prevent any further damage. Avoid dental wax if you have a large chip or break in your tooth since flossing could cause more to break off.
4. When You Have Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are often the result of gum disease. While you’ll need your dentist to help treat gum disease, there are certain steps you can take to help until your appointment.
- Swish with an OTC gum rinse
- Quit smoking
- Get more vitamin C and K
An OTC gum rinse can help get rid of plaque, promote healthy gums, and help stop bleeding. Smoking is a major cause of gum disease along with many other health problems. Vitamins C and K help support your immune system and cause blood to clot, which will promote healthy gums and reduce bleeding.
5. A Filling Falls Out
Fillings aren’t permanent and can sometimes fall out. This could be due to reasons such as tooth decay, tooth grinding, or even a chemical reaction that loosens the filling. If a filling falls out, make sure to:
- Make an appointment with your dentist immediately
- Keep the filling for the dentist to see if it’s reusable
- Gargle with saltwater
- Maintain good dental hygiene until you can see your dentist
- Avoid chewing with the damaged tooth
- Use dental wax as a temporary filling
Dental wax is not a permanent solution for a lost filling. You will need to see your dentist who will decide how to best repair the cavity.
Dental emergencies can be a hassle regardless of the time of year. Schedule an appointment today and give yourself the gift of good oral health.
Arlington Family Dental is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m, Monday through Thursday to help with all your dental needs.