Whether you’re at a sports game, fall into an accident in your daily routine or experience someone who needs immediate, temporary aid, a dental first aid kit will bridge the gap between the accident and a dental visit.
What can you include in your emergency dental first aid kit? Dental first aid kits should not only hold emergency tools, but general oral care items as well. Save the day with these items:
Leaving foods and popcorn hulls between your teeth or gums can lead to inflammation and infection if not removed right away. Be careful not to push anything deeper into the gum with force. If you feel the food is too deeply lodged, call your dentist to identify any infections and release any wedged pieces.
- Clove Oil
Clove oil is often used in dentist offices to alleviate tooth pain. Be cautious with the amount you spread on your teeth as it can result in vomiting, sore throats, difficulty breathing and more, if ingested in large quantities.
- Ice Pack
Wrap an ice pack with a layer of towel not to freeze your skin- gently press the covered ice pack over the cheek with the pained or impacted area. This will reduce swelling of a toothache until you can receive further dental care from a professional.
Orajel, otherwise known as a topical numbing gel for canker sores, toothaches, cold sores, and in some cases, extreme pain for teething toddlers. Please consult your child’s dentist before using orajel for teething or other toothaches for children between ages 2-4.
- Gauze & Tea Bags
For excessive dental bleeding, apply pressure on the wound for 30 minutes. Tea bags are less traditional, but when moistened, the tannic acids contract blood vessels.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
For irritation due to canker sores, gingivitis, dentures, cold sores, or orthodontic appliances, hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen when mixed with water (per the bottle directions) and swished for about 1 minute. Do not swallow any product. For gel forms, apply to the affected area and let settle for one minute before spitting out.
- Dental Wax
This comes in handy for those with skin irritation from braces tearing skin inside the mouth. To protect the skin, gently apply dental wax on top of the bracket tearing skin to avoid further wounds. Remove dental wax before eating to prevent swallowing any wax.
- Toothbrush & Tweezers
Instead of using fingers or floss which potentially can wedge food items further between teeth, dental tweezers or toothbrushes can brush away food items unable to be reached with hands.
- Temporary Crown Material
If a crown breaks loose or falls out completely, temporary crown material can be found at most drug stores. This will protect the integrity of the tooth until you can meet with an emergency dentist.
- Saline Solution
For accidents leading to tooth loss or a chip, collect any particles and keep them in saline solution until you can reach a dentist to preserve the pieces.
- Latex/Non-Latex Gloves
In the event you have to help a child or other adult with a dental emergency, latex gloves are always a necessary precaution not to involve any germs from your hands.
- Dental Mirror
For chipped teeth or wedged food items in teeth, use a dental mirror to ensure everything has been cleaned up and removed that needs to be.
Don’t let these quick fixes keep you from thinking the problem is solved, watch for warning signs and keep a dentist contact nearby in case any injuries could result in serious dental emergencies. Consult an emergency dentist for any uncertainties to ensure the longevity of your smile!
Dr. Roberto Monteagudo is an expert in advanced dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, neuromuscular dentistry and sedation dentistry. He attended the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies from 1999 to 2006 and graduated from Marquette University, School of Dentistry in 1990. Dr. Monteagudo speaks frequently throughout the Wisconsin area on advancements in dentistry and patient education. Dr. Roberto Monteagudo lives in Milwaukee with his lovely wife, Gina, and their seven children whom they make a top priority. He also enjoys outdoor activities and is deeply committed to giving back to his community through charitable events. His warmth and caring combined with his commitment to patient comfort through sedation dentistry, leading edge, gentle, and non-invasive technologies is the reason that his patients travel long distances to see him.