Written: March 2015
Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Q. What do I do if I knock out my tooth?
A. For a knocked out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that is approved by the ADA. See your dentist right away.
Q. What if I crack my tooth?
A. For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Q. How do I treat a toothache?
A. For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.
Q. What if I think my jaw is broken?
A. If you think your jaw is broken apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Go to your dentist or emergency room immediately.
Q. How can I avoid a dental emergency?
A. Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. Use scissors, never your teeth, to cut things.