Dental emergencies can creep up when you least expect it, and this is particularly true for those with kids. When an emergency does sneak up, as with other health-related situations, remaining calm and collected is of the utmost importance until you can visit your dentist. However, there are a few things you can do when the emergency takes place to be better prepared for the situation as well as increasing the chances of a positive outcome.
1. Warm salt water - If you happen to break a tooth, injure your tongue, or any other form of injury in which there is bleeding, a mixture of warm water and salt maybe used as a healing aid. The salt water helps to cleanse the wound while soothing the pain. Do keep in mind that this is not a recommended remedy for people with high blood pressure.
2. Cold milk - Milk is not just for cookies and cereal anymore as cold milk plays a vital role in saving teeth. A tooth that has been knocked out, yet is still completely in tact can be preserved for up to an hour in cold milk. It is extremely important to get to a dentist within that hour as there is a high probability that the tooth can be successfully replaced in the socket it was dislodged from. Whatever you do, do not clean the tooth as there are microscopic fibers on the root that are essential in the healing process.
3. Ice/Cold Compress - If swelling is a concern, after something such as a blunt force impact, then using ice or a cold compress can provide relief while reducing swelling. Place the cold pack on the injured area in ten-minute intervals. If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, applying an ice pack over the jaw joint–right near the ear and temple–can help relieve inflammation from TMJ.
4. Trusty dental floss - Dental floss is like the Swiss army knife of the oral care world. In the event you get something seriously lodged in your teeth, dental floss is the safest way to try and dislodge it. Keep paper, knives, tweezers, and other miscellaneous tools out of your mouth because they can do more harm than good. Dental floss is small, cheap, and can easily be kept in a vehicle or purse for when it is needed.
Remember, these are only temporary measures that you can apply when an emergency happens. If there is any questions on the severity of the problem, immediately consult you dentist and do not try to correct the situation yourself, or you just may make matters worse in the long run.