What to do in a Dental Emergency?

This time of year, you might be wondering what to do if you have a dental emergency while our offices are closed for the holidays, or after hours any time of year. We are proud to serve your emergency dental needs – just call our emergency number at 239-936-0597 when the office is closed.

Holiday closures to plan for – Closed: Dec. 22, 2012 – Jan. 2, 2013

Avoiding an emergency
Indulging in a candy cane or popcorn might seem innocent enough, but be careful of these dental offenders. Items such as hard candy, popcorn kernels and ice can all damage teeth. Also, avoid using your teeth to cut tape or remove tags from those new gifts. It may seem convenient, but it is not worth ruining your holiday. Always wear a mouth guard while playing sports or doing any activities that could harm teeth as well.

Home care tips
Sometimes you can temporarily care for an emergency at home with a few simple items such as temporary fillings, a dental mirror, sterile gauze and pain relievers. Make sure you have these on hand in case an emergency happens when stores are closed. If you are not sure what to get, there are a variety of emergency dental kids on the market. Remember, pain is a signal something is wrong so even if the pain subsides make an appointment for an examination as soon as possible.

Emergency tips
Whatever your dental emergency, if you can’t manage the pain or stop bleeding on your own, always go to the emergency room. Here are a few emergency tips from the American Dental Association (http://www.ada.org/370.aspx) for handling issues that may or may not require an emergency room visit:

Lost tooth – If your tooth has been knocked out, hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it is dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and seek immediate care by calling our emergency phone number or go to the emergency room. Remember to bring your tooth with you!

Toothache – Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food or other debris caught between teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it can burn gum tissue. Contact us as soon as possible.

Bitten lip or tongue – Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. Again, if the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the emergency room.

Broken tooth – Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and use cold compresses to reduce swelling. Call us for an appointment as soon as possible.

Cracked tooth – Avoid chewing food on that side of your mouth and contact us as soon as possible.

Broken jaw – If you have possibly broken your jaw, apply cold compresses to control swelling and go to the emergency room immediately.

Foreign objects stuck in teeth – If you can’t gently remove the object with dental floss, call us as soon as possible. Never use sharp objects and avoid cutting the gums with floss.

Contact us today by calling (239) 936-0597 to schedule your next dental visit or to speak to one of our experienced dental staff.