Even the most meticulous oral hygiene regimen only goes so far in protecting the health of your family’s teeth. Sometimes events beyond your control may lead to a broken or knocked-out tooth. Accidents happen. While dental emergencies are not always preventable, you are not helpless in the event one occurs. Preparation goes a long way in helping you and your loved ones deal with circumstances as they arise. The importance is having a plan in place and knowing exactly what to do if a problem occurs.
Prepare Your Family
The key to handling a dental emergency well is preparation and education. By putting together a dental emergency kit for you and your family, you can equip yourself to deal with an accident fast and efficiently. Create a first aid kit specifically for your family’s teeth. This should include a small container for knocked-out teeth, the name and phone number of your Rochester dentist, acetaminophen, a tooth preserving system, and a handkerchief. Acetaminophen is a painkiller. Use this instead of aspirin or ibuprofen because these drugs will thin blood and cause excessive bleeding. Once you put together your kit, have a family meeting, and instruct everyone on how and when to use each item.
You should also teach your family what to do in the case of specific dental emergencies, like when someone has a cracked, knocked-out, or loose tooth. The following describes what to do in each case.
Cracked or Fractured Tooth
At Calcagno Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are available in the case of a dental emergency. If someone in your family has a cracked or fractured tooth, call your Rochester dentist immediately as this is a serious dental emergency. In the meantime, they should wash their mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to the area, and take acetaminophen.
A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention because the tooth can be lost if not treated within 30 minutes of an accident. You can increase the chances of saving your family member’s tooth if you respond appropriately. Pick up the tooth by the top, not the root. Gently rinse the tooth off with water, but do not scrub it. Leave all attached tissue on the tooth. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket and have your family member hold it in place by biting down. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container or tooth preserving system. A tooth preserving system consists of a balanced saline solution that will help save the tooth. These are available at most drug stores. If you do not have one of these, put the tooth in a glass of milk. Call your Rochester dentist immediately. Keep in mind, if your child loses a baby tooth by accident, this does not constitute a dental emergency because the tooth is impossible to replace.
Call your Rochester dentist, in the case of a loose tooth. Meanwhile, hold the tooth in place with your finger. Do not try to force the tooth back into position. This can make the problem worse. Bite down on the tooth to keep it from moving around.
Schedule an Appointment
If you wish to learn more about how to protect your family in the case of a dental emergency, or if you would like to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Calcagno, call our Rochester dentist office at (507) 281-3659. We serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and the surrounding communities.