Dental accidents can and do happen. Fortunately, when you know what to do during and after these events, you’ll have a much higher likelihood of being able to save the affected tooth.

Following are six steps to take when dealing with dental emergencies:

  1. For permanent, adult teeth that have been knocked out, be sure to keep these structures moist at all times. If possible, try to put the displaced tooth back into its socket while avoiding contact with the tooth root. If this can’t be done, consider placing the tooth in milk, between the gums and the cheek, or in a special, tooth preservation solution that’s ADA Accepted. Next, head to the dentist’s office immediately.
  2. For cracked teeth, clean the affected area right away by rinsing the mouth with warm water. You can minimize swelling with a cold compress.
  3. If you bite your lip or tongue, gently clean the area with plain water and use a cold compress to limit swelling.
  4. If you have a toothache, clean the tooth out by rinsing with warm water. Try to extract any food debris that’s trapped between the teeth with dental floss. Never place an aspirin directly on the gum tissues or your tooth in an effort to alleviate pain.
  5. If an object is stuck inside of the mouth, trying using dental floss to gently remove it, but avoid using any pointed or sharp instruments in place of floss.

Whenever dental emergencies arise, you should head to the emergency room or your dentist’s office as soon as you possibly can.

Following are three, easy strategies for preventing tooth accidents and injuries:

  1. Whenever you participate in recreational or sports activities, be sure to use a mouth guard.
  2. To protect the natural integrity of your teeth and stave off tooth chips and cracks, never chew popcorn kernels, ice or hard candy.
  3. Cut things open using scissors, rather than your teeth.

Many dentists set aside time each day for accommodating patients with dental emergencies. Contact your dentist right away with an in-depth description of your injury and the event or problem that has caused it.

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