Going on vacation? In addition to cameras, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes or boots, you probably have a small emergency first aid kit for minor scrapes, scratches, or headaches. But dental emergencies can happen anywhere, even if you’re nowhere near our dental office in Chapel Hill.
In addition to bandages, gauze, and some antiseptic, add a small bottle of oil of cloves. (It’s not a bad idea to keep some around the house!) It can help relieve minor tooth pain if necessary. The Department of Health and Human Services has some tips for dental first aid:
Broken or knocked out tooth – Find the tooth or tooth pieces as soon as possible and rinse them to remove debris. If there’s bleeding, rinse the area with warm water and apply pressure with gauze. Apply a cold compress to the cheek or jaw if there’s swelling.
If a knocked out tooth can be re-inserted, gently attempt to put it back into place. This can be the best method of saving the tooth.
Toothache or abscess – Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to remove any food debris. Do NOT place aspirin at the site of the pain; it can burn the gum tissue. If there is any swelling, place a cold compress on the side of the cheek.
Bleeding from a cut or lost tooth – A cut lip, tongue, or cheek, or even a lost baby tooth can cause bleeding. Gently clean the area with a clean wet cloth and apply pressure for about 15 minutes. You can also apply ice or a cold compress to the area. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, get to a dentist or doctor as soon a possible.
Accidents can happen anywhere. A few precautions and a little preparedness will help you get back to your vacation fun as soon as possible. When you return, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at our Chapel Hill dental office to have the tooth or cut examined. We’ll make sure there’s no damage to the tooth’s roots. If necessary, we will restore your tooth with bonding, a crown, or any of the restorative or esthetic dental services we provide at Chapel Hill Advanced Dentistry.