Ouch! 5 emergency dental care tips while waiting to see your dentist

In life, sometimes you will encounter a dental emergency. There are ways to avoid injuring your teeth, like not chewing on hard foods like nuts and popcorn kernels, but accidents can happen. Most dental emergencies are not as severe as medical emergencies, but it is still good to know what to do in any given emergency. If you are in a lot of pain, you may need emergency dental care but for some situations, you do not need to see a dentist right away. 


1. Toothache

For a toothache, you should first try to rinse your mouth with warm water and clean it out. Then, call your dentist. You should describe the symptoms you’re feeling and ask to be seen right away. Your toothache could be a symptom of a cavity, an infection, tooth decay, gum disease, or grinding issues. If you notice any swelling or have a lot of pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine. You can also hold an ice pack to your face at the spot of your sore tooth.


2. Chipped, cracked, or broken tooth

A chipped or broken tooth is almost always salvageable. You should call your dentist and tell him or her what happened. He or she will want to see you right away. If you have a piece of the tooth that broke off, your dentist may be able to glue it back on if your tooth is not in bad condition. But usually, for minor cracks and breaks, your dentist will use a white filling to repair the tooth. If your tooth is completely cracked or broken, you may need a root canal or tooth extraction and implant.  


3. Knocked out tooth

A mouthguard is important to wear during contact sports so that you do not get a bleeding tooth or – even worse – a knocked-out tooth. If your knocked-out tooth is a permanent or adult tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back in. Make sure you keep your tooth moist throughout. If you are able to, and if your tooth is clean, you can try putting the tooth back in your mouth. Place the tooth in the socket without touching the root. Placing it in the socket within ten minutes gives your tooth a better chance of taking root again. If it is not possible for you to put your tooth back in place, you can place your tooth between your teeth and gums or in milk, and rush to your dentist’s office or the nearest dentist to you.


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4. Lost filling or crown

Fillings are used to fill up cavities in teeth caused by decay or breaks. A crown is used to shelter the tops (or ‘crowns’) of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or crowns fall out or come loose because of decay underneath. Such decaying can erode the tooth further and loosen the tight hold the crown or filling has on the tooth.

A lost crown or filling can be painful due to the exposed tooth tissue being sensitive to air, pressure, or temperature. If your crown comes off, put it in a safe place and schedule an appointment with your dentist to see him or her as soon as possible. For a lost filling, put a piece of soft, sugarless gum on the spot where the filling was lost. It is only a temporary solution, but it will protect the area until you can quickly see a dentist.


5. Something stuck between teeth

It is never a pleasant feeling having food stuck in teeth. It can be embarrassing and downright uncomfortable. For food – or any object – stuck in your teeth, the best thing to do is get your dental floss. Try using the floss to carefully and gently remove or dislodge the object. If you struggle with using regular floss, you can use a flossing stick. Do not poke between your teeth with a pin or other sharp object. You could potentially cut your gums or scratch the surface of your tooth. If you cannot get the object out, see a dentist.


At Dawson Dental we have made seeing the dentist as easy as possible. With over 25 locations you are never more than 15 minutes from a team of qualified dental professionals. Our emergency patient care team is available 7 days a week to assist with dental emergencies. Call us at 1-855-406-2742 immediately to have your dental emergency resolved.