25 Aug What is considered a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies occur when you experience an injury that affects your mouth. This can include lacerations to the tongue, lips, cheeks, or gums; chipped or broken teeth; or teeth that have been partially or completely dislodged. If you experience a dental emergency, you should see your family dentist as soon as possible.
What Can Cause a Dental Emergency?
Dental injuries are quite common, especially among young children and people who play contact sports. Children who are just learning to walk take numerous falls and sometimes land on their faces, causing damage to their lips, tongue, or teeth. Athletes playing football or hockey are particularly prone to dental damage.
Other everyday causes of dental emergencies include:
- Vehicle accidents, including cars, motorcycles, and bicycles
- Falls on stairs or uneven surfaces
- Slips and falls on wet or icy surfaces
- Impact to the face from other causes
You can help prevent dental injuries by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, wearing a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, and making sure you wear your seatbelt when you’re driving or riding in a car. It’s also important to wear appropriate footwear for wet or wintry conditions.
Being Prepared for a Dental Emergency
You can be prepared for a dental emergency by maintaining a dental first aid kit in conjunction with your standard first aid kit. This kit should include items specifically designed to help with dental issues, including:
- The phone number and name of your family dentist and an emergency dentist
- Toothpaste or denture adhesive to hold a loose filling or crown in place
- Gauze to stanch bleeding
- A kit designed to preserve a knocked-out tooth
With these basic items, you can deal with most dental injuries. If a tooth is knocked out and you don’t have a special kit on hand, you can put it in a small cup and cover it with water or milk. Be sure to save the tooth, as it might be possible for your dentist to set it back into place.
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