Wear a mouthguard when playing sports that pose a risk to your mouth.
Avoid chewing foods
Avoid chewing foods that can crack a tooth, such as ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy.
Use scissors, not your teeth, to cut tape.
Even with precautions, accidents can happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and loosing a tooth.
DOs and DON’Ts for Dental Emergencies
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the area to keep any swelling down. Call your dentist immediately.
Cracked teeth can be difficult to see, even with an x-ray. If you have persistent pain in a certain area of your mouth or with certain foods, you might have a cracked tooth, and should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Jaw — Possibly Broken
Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth
Hold the tooth by the crown. Do not rinse it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to the dentist as quickly as possible. Remember to bring the tooth with you!
Objects Caught Between Teeth
Try to gently remove the object with dental floss; avoid cutting the gums. Never use a sharp instrument to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. If you can’t dislodge the object using dental floss, contact your dentist.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.
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