You might be wondering what you can do to prepare for something like an unexpected tooth injury or dental health issue. It’s true that a dental emergency isn’t quite the same as a food shortage or a flat tire, but we can still make plans for what to do.
Call the dentist right away if your child loses a baby tooth in an accident, especially if it wasn’t loose beforehand. In most cases, we won’t put the tooth back in because it could create problems for the incoming permanent tooth. Since that tooth will be replaced eventually anyway, this might not seem like a big deal, but there may be other, less obvious damage.
In the event of a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, get straight to a dentist. The sooner treatment happens, the better. What you can do beforehand is find the broken tooth fragments and place them in cold milk to preserve them. You can also rinse your mouth out with water.
Never ignore a crack or chip, because if the damage is deep enough to expose the dental pulp, the tooth is in danger of infection, which can lead to the death of the pulp, a painful dental abscess, bone loss, and worse.
If an entire permanent tooth is knocked out, get to the dentist as fast as you safely can, because the clock is ticking on the fate of that tooth. If the dentist sees you within an hour of the accident, the tooth can usually be saved. You can improve the tooth’s chances by putting it back in the socket and holding it in place with clean gauze or a washcloth. If it won’t go back in, storing it in cold milk will also help.
Do NOT handle a knocked out tooth by the root. Do NOT let it dry out. Do NOT scrub it clean or use any soap, alcohol, or peroxide on this. Doing any of these things will kill the root, and then it will be much harder or even impossible to successfully replant.
It’s too bad we can’t just regrow adult teeth, isn’t it?
In addition to being familiar with common types of dental emergencies, it’s essential to know where you’re going to go for help! Our practice is ready to help any patient with an unexpected dental problem. We hope that you’ll never need to use this information and that the only time we’ll see you will be for regular appointments, but it’s always good to be prepared!