Posted on: 21 January 2015
A dental emergency is something you need to see your dentist for right away instead of making an appointment. Sometimes it's necessary to see your dentist (or any available emergency dentist) within the hour so you have the best chance of repairing any damage. Regardless of your emergency, there are things you can do in between an accident and the time you can see your dentist to help relieve pain, reduce the risk of infections and increase the chance your teeth can be restored.
Knocked Out Teeth, Fractures and Cracks
Physical damage to teeth is common, but you need to see your dentist quickly to have the best chance of salvaging the broken tooth or teeth. If your tooth has been knocked out, first see if you can put it back in. If you can't, don't force it; instead, put it into a small container with milk, or with water and a small amount of table salt. Avoid scrubbing it or removing any tissue fragments. If there is any dirt, gently rinse it off.
If your tooth has only chipped, save any pieces, rinse them as well, and take them with you to the dentist. Stop any bleeding by holding a piece of gauze in your mouth, and ease any swelling and pain by rinsing with warm water, then holding a cold compress to outside of your mouth.
Follow the same process for teeth that have become partially dislodged, but are otherwise undamaged; apply a cold compress, stop the bleeding and make an emergency visit.
Food Stuck Between Teeth
If something is stuck between your teeth that becomes painful, try to gently push it out with dental floss or by swishing water in your mouth. If it won't come out, see your dentist immediately; don't try to pull it out or use a sharp object, as this could tear your gums or scrape and damage your teeth.
Broken Brackets, Braces and Wires
For broken wires and other dental or orthodontic appliances with sharp tips, first try to push them back into place with a pencil eraser. If they are broken or won't go back into place, you can temporarily prevent the sharp end from hurting you by placing dental wax, a cotton ball, gauze or even sugar-free gum over the end. Do not cut any wires, as there is a risk of swallowing them.
Fasten brackets back into place temporarily with wax until you can see your orthodontist. However, if your mouth is bleeding or has any lacerations from the broken or sharp objects, see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid any infections.Share