Accidents happen. The holiday season is not immune to that statement. Your cousin spills the cranberry sauce all over the floor. Your grandmother knocks some ornaments off the tree. Your uncle sprains his ankle while tossing the old pigskin around. In the case of dental accidents, however, do you know what to do? Your regular dentist might be closed, but thankfully, your emergency dentist in Larchmont Village has written this guide on how to handle common dental emergencies over the holidays.
First, rinse your mouth out with a warm saltwater solution. This will help kill any bacteria that may be causing an infection. Next, floss around the sore tooth to dislodge any object that might be caught there and causing your pain. Cut down on swelling and pain by applying a cold compress to your cheek. You could also take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed on the bottle.
This is only a serious issue if it’s an adult tooth. If that’s the case, you need to see a dentist within a few hours to have any chance of successful reattachment. In the meantime, use a mirror to try and insert the tooth back into the socket. If that’s not possible, hold it in between your gums and cheek, or place it in a container of milk. The most important thing, besides seeing a dental professional right away, is keeping the tooth wet.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Save any pieces that you can. Rinse your mouth out with saltwater. If you’re bleeding, hold a piece of cloth or gauze to the area for ten minutes or until the bleeding stops. To ease swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth.
Lost Filling or Crown
If you can, locate the crown or filling. If your tooth hurts, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil or garlic to the area. Coat the inside of the crown or filling with denture adhesive, toothpaste, or sugar-free gum and try to reattach it. Remember that this is only a temporary solution, and that you should see your dentist as soon as they open to permanently reattach your filling or crown.
Dental emergencies are no fun, especially over the holidays. Keep these tips in mind just in case worse comes to worst.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin Geller achieved his dental degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He has earned a Board Certification in Prosthodontics, or the creation and placement of artificial teeth like crowns or dental implants. If you injure your tooth this holiday season, Dr. Geller can help heal or replace it. His practice also offers same-day emergency appointments. To learn more, click here to visit his website.