You probably have bandaids, antiseptics, and peroxide handy to treat minor injuries at home, but do you have a first aid kit for your smile? 1 in 6 Americans has a dental emergency every year. You might not expect a dental emergency to happen to you, but accidents can happen. It’s best to be prepared, just in case. Here are a few must-haves to include in your oral health emergency kit.
Preparing for Dental Emergencies
If you have a dental emergency, don’t panic! The steps you take at home can make a difference when waiting to see your dentist. Be sure to include a few key essentials in your emergency kit, like:
- Cotton swabs to clean wounds or use as applicators.
- Cotton balls to help control any bleeding.
- Alcohol wipes to clean and disinfect areas, like your hands, before touching your mouth.
- Dental floss can help free food particles or objects stuck between teeth.
- A dental mirror will give you a better view of the inside of your mouth.
- Dental wax can coat sharp edges on braces or other oral appliances to reduce irritation.
- Petroleum jelly can make it easier to fit a lost crown back over a tooth. It can also create a temporary seal to keep the restoration in place until you see your dentist.
- Salt water can clean debris from your mouth and kill germs. It is also great for reducing pain and inflammation.
Don’t wait to contact your dentist or a minor issue can turn into a big problem. In fact, you can be at risk of losing your tooth if you delay care for too long.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
You can’t always stop accidents from happening, but there are many things you can do to lessen your risk of a dental emergency, like:
- Commit to Your Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice daily and floss every night to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Break Bad Habits: Don’t chew on inedible objects, like pencils or your fingernails. Don’t use your teeth in place of scissors or other tools.
- Visit Your Dentist: Schedule a cleaning and checkup every 6 months to ensure there aren’t any untreated dental issues hiding in your mouth.
- Wear a Mouthguard: Never play sports without wearing an athletic mouthguard.
- Treat Bruxism: Protect your teeth from grinding and clenching with a nightguard.
Despite the best prevention, emergencies can still happen. Your dentist will provide the quick care you need to stop your pain and save your smile.
About Dr. James D. Geer
Dr. Geer earned his dental degree from the University of Texas and continued his education in oral surgery and many other advanced specialties. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. If you need an emergency dentist, contact us through our website or call (832) 639-6236.