Guide to Handling Dental Emergencies

To protect yourself, read about some common dental emergencies listed below:

• Broken Braces and Wires:
If you have braces installed to achieve straight teeth, there are chances that a wire may break or stick out of the band or bracket. If this is bothering your gum, tongue or cheek; cover the protruding end with a gauze piece, a small cotton ball or orthodontic wax until you visit your dentist. Remember not to cut the wire as there is risk of it getting swallowed and entering your lungs.

• Loose Dental Braces or Bands:
Use orthodontic wax to temporarily attach your loose brackets. You may also place the wax in such a way that it provides a cushion for your dental braces. It is important that you visit your orthodontist as soon as you can. If your band is loosening up, get an appointment with your doctor so that you have them replaced or cemented again.

• Toothache:
If you are experiencing toothache, it is recommended that you thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Check for lodged food and use a dental floss to get rid of it. Use an ice pack on the outside of your cheek or mouth if you experience any swelling. Also remember never to place a painkiller or an aspirin against the gums close to the area that is aching, since they cause a burning sensation.

• Chipped or Broken Teeth:
If you chip or break your teeth due to a fall or an injury, remember to save all the pieces that you are able to find. Then, rinse your mouth with warm water to make sure you do not end up swallowing any broken piece.

If you are experiencing any bleeding, place a gauze piece on the area for approximately 10 minutes. You may also use an ice pack near the area to prevent excessive inflammation and to relieve yourself of pain.

In any of the above situations or other emergency dental work such as knocking out or dislodging your tooth; losing a crown or filling; or having foreign objects caught between the teeth, it is important that you take the necessary first-response measures and visit a emergency dentist as soon as possible.