Like it or not, emergencies happen. When they do you need to be prepared to treat them quickly and easily, all without trying to dig through cabinets trying to find supplies. You probably have a first aid kit sitting around somewhere, but what about one for your teeth?
There are some very different pieces of equipment that you need for dental first aid. We want to help you stock up on the most essential pieces so that you’re never caught off guard when something unexpected happens! As always, if you’re having a dental emergency don’t hesitate to call our Rochester dentist office – we’ll always try to see you the same day, or even on nights and weekends!
Immediate Care Needs
When an accident happens there are some basic supplies that you need to identify and clean a wound.
- Rubber Gloves should always be in your first aid kit. After all, it might not be just you that needs it – it could be a friend or family member, and it’s important to be safe when helping someone out. Make sure you include some latex-free gloves in case of allergies.
- A Dental Mirror can help you spot an injury that might be hard to see. They don’t always happen in the most convenient spots, and getting a good view of a wound is an important part of treatment. For an added benefit buy one that has an attached light, or keep a small flashlight in your kit as well.
- Alcohol Wipes can help clean the wound area and make the initial treatment easier. Keep a few of these, and make sure they’re the individually packaged ones – they’re safe and sterile.
Treating The Injury
There are a variety of things that can be considered a dental emergency, so it’s important to cover your bases.
- Cotton Swabs are good for removing blood, tissue, or other things near the injury. They’re also great at applying topical items for use in pain relief and cleaning. Make sure they’re kept in a closed container so they stay clean.
- Cotton Balls need to be in a sealed package as well. They’re great at stopping bleeding, protecting a sensitive wound, or putting in a tooth socket.
- Dental Floss should be in your kit so that you can use it to clear out any injuries between teeth. It’s also a good idea to have some in a place that’s easy to find (like your kit) in case you need it. Food stuck between teeth can cause injuries!
- Salt should be used to flush out the mouth, especially if the injury has caused dirt or other matter to get into the wound. Mix salt with lukewarm water, swish, and spit. It’s going to burn, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: it kills bacteria in the process.
- Dental Wax, which can be purchased at most drugstores, is great for covering sharp pieces of a fractured tooth or broken orthodontics. It’s soft, pliable, and easy to stick in place.
- Temporary Filling Material can be purchased as a kit and is almost a necessity for treating lost fillings. It’s a soft paste that you can squeeze into the tooth, keeping it protected from sensitivity, pain, and bacteria until we can see you.
- Vaseline is great for reattaching crowns that have fallen off, and is easier for us to remove than dental adhesives. simply fill the crown with vaseline and pop it back in place. The jelly-like consistency forms a bit of a seal that should keep the crown sturdy until you get to Northwest Dental Care.
Depending on the emergency you might be in pain. Here’s what you can keep handy to ease it.
- Topical Anesthetic can be swabbed onto your gums to numb them up. It doesn’t last for very long, however, so we recommend keeping the tube handy.
- Ibuprofen can definitely help. Don’t keep aspirin in your kit – that’s a sure way to cause problems because of its ability to thin your blood.
- Cold Compresses can be used to reduce swelling and pain. We recommend the chemically activated ones that are thrown away after use. The last thing you want to be doing is searching the freezer during an emergency!
Don’t Wait – Call Right Away During Emergencies
It doesn’t matter what’s wrong: if you’re having a dental emergency don’t hesitate to contact us right away. You can reach Northwest Dental Group by calling 507-315-2932. For non-emergency appointments and inquiries you can also fill out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!