7 Tips on How To Prepare Now for Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can’t always be prevented … but you can be prepared for them!
Dental emergencies happen every day. While some situations can be prevented, others can’t – like dental trauma from car accidents or sports accidents. The best thing you can do to prevent permanent damage to your teeth from a dental emergency is to be as prepared as possible. Use these expert tips to make sure that you and your kids are ready to take action when dental emergencies do happen.
Talk to your children about what kinds of dental emergencies could happen.
Have young kids? When children are old enough to ride their bikes or play a sport, make sure they’re informed about any dental emergencies that could happen, like having a tooth knocked out. A simple explanation will prepare them without frightening them. And it will help them to understand the importance of helmets and mouthguards.
Ensure that they know to tell a coach, a teacher, or a trusted adult if they experience dental trauma. And if you have young children, especially if they have seen a sibling hurt or heard their sibling tell stories of knocked-out teeth, you should explain the difference between losing a baby tooth and a real dental emergency so that they don’t get scared when they start to lose their baby teeth.
Get sports mouthguards for you and your children.
If you or your children play contact sports, you should always use a mouthguard. Studies show that between 13-39% of all knocked out or injured teeth are caused by sports injuries. You can help make sure that your child’s teeth are safe by getting them a high-quality mouthguard that’s been custom fitted by a dentist. And if you play contact sports as an adult, you should be doing the same! Both for safety reasons and as a good example to your kids.
A dental mouthguard is a great investment even if your dental insurance doesn’t cover the cost. After all, consider what the cost of a dental emergency can be.
Prepare a dental trauma kit.
You probably have a general first aid kit, but do you have a specific dental trauma kit? If not, start putting one together. And if your family members play sports, keep one kit at home and one in your vehicle for when you’re attending their sporting events.
Every dental trauma kit should contain:
- Gauze in different sizes
- Disposable gloves
- Pinking shears or a small scissor
- Tooth pain gel/pain killers
- A container for a knocked-out tooth and Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution
- Dental floss
- Cold pack
- A sheet of paper taped to the kit that lists your dentist’s phone number
Keep your dentist’s phone number with other emergency numbers.
You probably have a sheet of emergency phone numbers posted on your fridge or somewhere in your home. Is your dentist’s number on it? If not, add it. Also add your dentist’s number to any emergency list of numbers on your phone. Make sure it’s in your children’s contacts and your spouse’s too.
This way, you can ensure that everyone – your immediate family members, your babysitter, or the in-laws watching the kids – is able to call your dentist quickly in the event of an emergency.
Learn the signs of dental infections and other emergency situations.
A knocked-out tooth is a clear dental emergency, but it’s not the only type of dental emergency. Do some research and talk to your dentist to learn to recognize the signs of a dangerous dental infection – like pain in the tooth, cheek and neck swelling, and fever. You should also learn the signs of a dental abscess, abrasion on the gum, and other potentially serious dental problems.
Know what isn’t a dental emergency.
Tooth pain can definitely be a dental emergency, if it’s related to a cavity, infection, or abscess. But not all tooth pain is a dental emergency. Some things you can fix by yourself at home. For example, if your child gets something jammed tightly between their teeth, it can cause significant pain, and your child might not know what’s causing it.
Take a look to see if there is something stuck between the teeth. You should usually be able to remove the item through flossing. But if you try to remove the item and can’t, then it’s probably time to call the dentist and make an appointment for your child. Not all tooth pain indicates an emergency, but persistent pain or pain without a clear, easily remedied cause should always be evaluated by your dentist.
Prevention is the best preparation.
Just like you try to prevent medical emergencies by taking care of your physical health, you can prevent dental emergencies by taking care of your dental health. The best way to prevent dental emergencies is to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Routine exams and regular X-rays allow the dentist to spot potential problems like cavities and fix them before they become emergencies. And getting regular dental cleanings can stop a lot of dental problems by making sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong.
Call us for preventative or emergency dentistry care.
You can start preventing dental emergencies now by coming in to Parmer Lane Family Dentistry for some high-quality preventative or emergency dental care. Call our office today to make an appointment for you or for your child, or request an appointment online.