You are watching your daughter play softball. She’s playing first base when a hard ground ball is hit to the shortstop.
The throw to first is in the dirt. The ball hits a rock, bounces off your daughter’s arm, and strikes her in the mouth.
In an instant, the game doesn’t seem important. You try to get onto the field as the coach rushes to your daughter’s side. Her mouth is bleeding, but she seems more shaken than hurt.
You see one of her teammates pick up something nearby. As you get closer to your daughter, you wonder if one of her teeth has been knocked out.
How To Deal With Your Emergency
If your daughter was the person involved in the scenario above, would you know what to do? Here are the steps you should take depending on whether her tooth was knocked out completely or if her tooth is broken.
► Knocked-Out Tooth
In the scenario above, try to find the tooth. If you do, pick it up by the crown. This is the part of the tooth that you normally see when the tooth is in your mouth.
It’s important to rinse the tooth to remove any dirt. You also need to rinse your daughter’s mouth to remove any blood or dirt.
If possible, try to replace the tooth in her mouth. If it will stay, keep it there.
However, if it comes loose, you want to keep it moist. The best way to do this is to keep the tooth in a container of milk.
Your daughter can take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and she can use ice or a cold pack to reduce swelling. You may want to keep some gauze handy in case her mouth starts to bleed again.
If you or someone in your family has recently had a procedure done in our office, you should have your dentist’s cell number so you can contact him or her directly if this emergency occurs outside our regular office hours.
► Broken Tooth
Some of the steps are similar to what you would do with a tooth that has been knocked out, but a broken tooth does pose some different issues as well.
Again, you will want to find the broken piece or pieces of her tooth if you can. When you do, you will want to rinse them off and keep them in a container of milk.
Your daughter will want to rinse her mouth to remove dirt or blood as well.
With a broken tooth, it’s possible the damaged tooth could have a sharp edge or a point. This could poke or cut the soft tissues of your mouth, such as you lips, cheeks, or tongue. To prevent this, we recommend covering the tooth with wax or gauze.
As soon as you are able, call our office or call your dentist directly.
Be Prepared For A Dental Emergency
Many families have first aid kits in their homes, but it’s also a good idea to have dental emergency supplies.
Hopefully, you will never need to use these. You will be glad to have them if such a situation does occur, however.
Here are some things that will come in handy during a dental emergency:
- Alcohol wipes — This are helpful for cleaning and disinfecting the mouth of the injured person.
- Cotton swabs — These also can be used to clean a damaged area.
- Dental mirror — This can help you see the problem more easily.
- Gauze — These can be used to absorb blood, stop bleeding, and protect the rest of your mouth from a sharp tooth.
- Latex or vinyl gloves — This is a sanitary way to deal with any emergency, dental or otherwise. This can prevent you from getting blood or saliva from another person on your hands.
- Temporary filling material — This is helpful if a filling comes loose, and you need to replace it until you can see your dentist.
- Wax — Like gauze, this can be used to protect your mouth by covering a broken tooth or a piece of wire from broken braces.
- Vaseline — For someone who loses a dental crown or bridge, this can provide a temporary seal to keep it in the right place until the dentist can see him or her.
You can assemble your own kit, or you can purchase a kit at many drug stores or through an online retailer.
No Matter The Emergency, Call Us
In San Antonio, the dentists at Advanced Dental Associates will make every effort to see you the same day that your emergency occurs.
Remember to call our office at 210-819-5233 or dial your dentist directly.