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Dental Emergencies

Knocked-out tooth
If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk or, when milk is not available, in a cup of cool water. Go immediately to your dentist (within 30 minutes if possible). Don’t forget to bring the tooth.
Bitten tongue or lip
Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.
Broken tooth
Gently clean dirt from the injured area with warm water. To decrease swelling, place cold compresses on the face in the area of the injured tooth. Go to the dentist immediately.
Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the aching tooth or on gum tissues. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Possible broken jaw
Do not move the jaw. Secure the jaw in place by tying a handkerchief, necktie, or towel around the jaw and over the top of the head. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room, or call your dentist.
Objects caught between teeth
Try to remove the object with floss. Guide the floss carefully to avoid cutting the gums. If you’re not successful in removing the object, go to the dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.
Problems with braces and retainers
If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end with a small cotton ball, beeswax or a piece of gauze, until you can get to the dentist. If a wire gets stuck in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Go to your dentist immediately. If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, take the appliance and the piece and go to the dentist.