You rely on your teeth to help you eat, speak, and express yourself, and most of us can’t even imagine what life would be like without all of our teeth. It’s no surprise, then, that a dental emergency in Polk City, IA is enough to send even the most level-headed person into panic mode. Dr. Ryan Hussong, a general and emergency dentist, shares quick fixes for the most common dental mishaps. While there is no substitute for professional dental care, these tips can at least make the situation tolerable until you visit our office.
The Well-Stocked Dental First Aid Kit
Most households have a first aid kit, but not everyone knows what to keep on hand for dental dilemmas. You can find most of these items in drugstores, usually for less than $5:
- Topical anesthetic for tooth pain
- A small, airtight container to store lost teeth or tooth fragments
- Dental cement
You may have these additional items in your general first aid kit:
- Reusable cold compress
- Over-the-counter pain reliever
- Sterile gauze pads or cotton rolls
Dental First Aid 101
Sometimes food or other hard objects become lodged between teeth or in the gums. Attempt to flush the object out by rinsing vigorously with warm water, then flossing. If floss or dental tape cannot remove the offending material, it’s best to visit Dr. Hussong. Never use a toothpick or other hard object to pry the material out, as you could gouge your gums and cause further damage.
If you have a chipped or broken tooth, carefully pick up any fragments, then bring them to our office. If you notice bleeding, gently place a square of sterile gauze or cotton to staunch the flow. You can also apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth over the affected area.
If the tooth has been knocked out completely, gently pick it up by the topmost portion—the surface you use to chew with—and take care not to touch its root. Use water to rinse away any bits of dirt or debris. Do not attempt to remove any living tissue that remains attached to the avulsed tooth. Set the tooth into its socket, applying gentle pressure to hold it in place. If you are unable to do so, store the tooth in a container of milk or salt water.
A loose or lost filling warrants immediate attention. You must seal the tooth to prevent bacteria and debris from entering the cavity. Dental cement, which you can purchase over the counter at most drugstores, will temporarily secure the dental filling. Sugar-free chewing gum doubles as a temporary seal, but should only be used if you are unable to locate your missing filling.
If you think it’s a dental emergency, it probably is. To learn more about emergency dentistry in Polk City, IA, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Hussong, contact Cornerstone Dental Group at (515) 984-6001. We welcome patients living in West Des Moines, Grimes, Urbandale, Alleman, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.