How to administer first aid during a dental emergency

There is a lot of information out there that assists people in dealing with first aid responses relating to many different types of injury. From muscle pulls to breathing complications, many people are generally aware of how to respond soon after an accident happens. But what about responding to dental emergencies? Many people don't think about what they would have to do immediately after a tooth gets knocked out of the mouth, becomes chipped or begins to ache.

Dental emergencies are real and happen to people of all ages. It's important to be aware of essential steps that you would need to take to respond to such an emergency first hand before you can arrive at the dentist's office.

Treating a tooth that has been knocked out

Accidents can happen, and your tooth can be knocked out of its socket. When this happens, it's important to act quickly so you can save the tooth. Find where the missing tooth is, and only handle it via the crown. Avoid touching the sensitive roots at the bottom. Next, rinse the tooth using milk or fresh tap water. It is important not to soak the tooth for too long, as this may dislodge the roots.

After cleaning, you can attempt to return the tooth to its socket. Fit it correctly inside the mouth, and use soft cloth or tissue to hold it in place. You can also cover the tooth with aluminium to ensure that it doesn't fall off. After the tooth is safely in place, visit a dentist as soon as possible.

Treating a broken tooth

In some cases, a tooth can become fractured but still remain in its position. While very painful, try to find the missing fragments and immediately dip them in milk. This will keep the fragments in good shape for a dentist to reattach them to the original tooth.

You can attempt to numb the pain by using a cold compress after washing/rinsing the mouth. Rinsing with an antiseptic is important because it removes contaminants and prevents the tooth from rotting.

Treating toothaches

Toothaches can cause excruciating pain and even prevent you from working or sleeping. If you experience a sudden toothache, your first response should be to identify the source of the pain. It could be food debris lodged in-between the teeth or a cavity that has been filled with food particles. Clean the teeth by flossing, brushing and rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash. If the toothache is persistent, visit a dentist as soon as possible.