You and the family are out enjoying a movie and all the components are in place – sodas, candy and popcorn. As you all snack, one of your children is suddenly shocked to notice that a tooth is dislodged from attempting to bite into a kernel. Just like that, you’re thrust into the middle of a traumatic situation. What should you do? As you read on, your emergency dentist in Annapolis weighs in with tips for what to do for this and other typical dental traumas.
What is Considered a Dental Emergency?
Before moving forward, let’s get a basic definition of what classifies as a dental emergency. It’s an occurrence that suddenly and negatively alters the condition of your oral health to a degree that requires immediate attention. Many times, there will be pain in and around the area, and it’ll be hard or impossible to carry out the normal functions of that part of your mouth.
The First Things You Should Do
In emergent situations, this is what should be done first:
- Calm Down – Take a deep breath and assess the situation. This will allow you to think clearly and take the proper next steps.
- Seek Help – The next step is to reach out to your emergency dentist for help. By calming down first, though, you will be able to convey better information to the staff member you talk to, so you can get the fastest and best care possible.
Common Types of Dental Emergencies
The following are some of the more common types of dental emergencies and what you should do at home to stabilize them:
- Dislodged Tooth – For a knocked-out tooth, carefully pick it up by the crown (the wide part) and place it back into its rightful place. Be sure not to chew on that side of the mouth until the tooth is repaired.
- Broken or Cracked Tooth – When a tooth is broken or cracked, you can rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution and take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever for any initial discomfort.
- Toothache – For toothaches, you can take an OTC pain reliever and apply ice in 20-minute increments to the outside of your face.
- Item Dislodged Between Teeth – If you have something stuck between your teeth, you can floss carefully to attempt to remove it or rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution.
- Bleeding Gums – To stop bleeding, you can place a cotton swab in the area. If the bleeding is continuous for over 10 minutes, you should head to your local emergency room.
The steps you take at home are only for temporary relief and to stabilize the situation well enough to not further the problem. Thus, it’s still important to visit your dentist in Annapolis to get the treatment you need.
By acting fast, you can be restored to normal in the shortest and most accommodating manner.
About the Author
Dr. Barry Grosshandler earned his dental degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. After serving his country with the U.S. Navy Corps, he then went into private practice in Annapolis, specializing in restorative care. For your family’s emergency dentistry needs, reach out to Dr. Grosshandler to get the help you need. He can be reached for more information through his website.