While you should go to an emergency room or a dentist’s office if needed, here are some tips on how to handle possible minor dental problems.
TOOTHACHE: Rinse your mouth well with warm water and gently floss between the teeth to remove any trapped food. Use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
BROKEN TOOTH: Rinse with warm water, apply cold compresses to the cheek and get to a dentist as soon as possible.
KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH: Rinse the tooth lightly in running water but don’t scrub it, and touch it as little as possible! Put the tooth back in the socket and hold it firmly in place. If you can’t reinsert the tooth, keep it in a glass or container of milk or a special tooth preserving solution available at your local drug store or from your dentist. Get to the dentist within 30 minutes, if possible, to improve the chances of saving the tooth.
OBJECTS WEDGED BETWEEN TEETH: Gently remove the object with floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp instrument.
LOST FILLING: Cover the filling with paraffin, and take pain medication as needed. Most pharmacies have temporary filling kits that can be used until you are able to see a dentist
BITTEN TONGUE OR LIP: Put direct pressure on bleeding area with a clean cloth and apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a nearby hospital.
POSSIBLE FRACTURED JAW: Immobilize the jaw by any means, such as a handkerchief, necktie or towel tied around the head, and go to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.