In our previous post, we presented some tips to keep you smiling all summer. Today, we want to focus on what you can do to prevent dental emergencies … and what to do in case something does go wrong.
Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and our team at Sierra Dental Care is here to help if you or anyone you love needs emergency care.
If you live in or near Modesto, CA, save the number for our dentist office, (209) 575-2400, in your phone. This way you will be able to find it quickly if you need it.
Preventing Dental Emergencies
There are a few things you should be doing year-round to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. You probably know what they are (even if you might not be doing all of them.)
Here are the basics:
⇨ Brush twice per day — Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice daily removes bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and painful tooth infections.
⇨ Floss daily — Millions of Americans don’t do this even though the American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth and gums daily. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This too reduces your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
⇨ Get regular dental check-ups — We would like to see you at Sierra Dental Care a few times each year for professional cleanings and exams. This can help prevent problems or identify them early when they are easier to treat.
⇨ Wear an athletic mouthguard — You and your loved ones should be wearing an athletic mouthguard during any high-impact sports and recreational activities. This includes football, baseball, softball, and soccer as well activities like skateboarding and mountain biking.
Wearing a mouthguard may prevent the kinds of emergency situations mentioned below.
How To Handle Some Common Dental Emergencies
The first thing to remember in any dental emergency is to contact Sierra Dental Care as soon as you are able. We want to help alleviate your pain and treat your problem as quickly as we can.
With that in mind, here are some tips for what to do in a couple common situations before you are able to reach our dentist office.
➤ Broken tooth
Remember those sports we mentioned earlier, any one of them can cause you to break a tooth. If this does happen, try to find the broken piece. If you can, rinse it and rinse your mouth to remove any blood or dirt.
If the bleeding continues, use gauze to soak up the blood until it stops, then rinse one more time. You should then cover your tooth with gauze or dental wax. Broken teeth can have sharp edges that can cause cuts to soft tissues in your mouth.
You can apply an ice or cold pack to reduce swelling, and you may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.
➤ Dislodged tooth
The same kinds of accidents that can cause a tooth to break also can cause a tooth to get knocked out of its socket. In this situation, you will want to find the tooth. If you do, pick it up by the crown. Do NOT touch the roots if you can avoid it.
As above, you will want to rinse the tooth and your mouth. Again, if you are bleeding, use gauze to soak up any blood. When the bleeding stops, rinse your mouth again.
At this point, carefully try to place the tooth back in its socket. If it will stay, leave it there until you reach the dentist. If it won’t stay, keep the tooth in a container of milk (NOT water). In some cases, it may be possible to save the tooth.
And again, you may want to use an ice pack or pain reliever to reduce swelling or pain.
What We Can Do
After we deal with the immediate problem, we can discuss options for restoring your smile.
With a broken tooth, the treatment can vary depending on how deep the break is. In some cases, a dental veneer may be all that’s needed. In others, you may need a dental crown or even a root canal treatment if the break is particularly deep.
If a knocked out tooth can’t be saved, we can discuss replacement options such as a dental bridge or a dental implant with a dental crown.
Regardless of the reason for your dental emergency, please call (209) 575-2400 to reach Sierra Dental Care as soon as you can. We want to end your pain and bring back your smile.