The Holiday Guide to Dental Emergencies
Having a dental emergency is never easy, and when it happens over the holidays it can be especially stressful. But being prepared with the right information can make the whole experience better for everyone.
First of all, know your dentist’s holiday schedule. Some accidents may be safe to treat after your dentist is back in the office. But for other emergencies (like jaw fractures, jaw dislocations, serious cuts or infections or abscesses that are impacting breathing or swallowing) it’s best to visit the nearest emergency room immediately.
For chipped, cracked or knocked-out teeth, toothaches, broken braces, lost crowns or fillings, you can likely wait until your dentist’s office is open next. If a permanent tooth is lost, retrieve it (hold it by the crown without touching the root), rinse the root, and try to put the tooth back in place. If you’re not able to put the tooth back where it belongs, keep the tooth in a glass of milk or a cup of water with a pinch of table salt. There are also products at drugstores that claim to keep a tooth alive for up to 24 hours. This is a good product to stash in your first aid kit.
Knowing how to deal with a dental emergency ahead of time can make it easier to get the right treatment and can even save a smile!