You know the old saying: emergencies happen when you least expect them. Think about that for a minute: are you ever expecting the unexpected? No – that’s why you have to be prepared for when it does! You probably have a first aid kit somewhere at home, but do you have one for dental emergencies?
At 7 O’clock Dental we’re always here for your emergency needs, but there’s a critical time between your accident and getting to our office where care still has to be administered. If you want to be sure your emergency doesn’t turn out worse then you need to have a dental emergency kit!
The Key Items For Dental Emergencies
We like to break down first aid kits into three parts: immediate treatment, injury stabilization, and pain relief. It’s important that you have all of these items available in one place. The last thing you want to have to do in an emergency is dig around the house looking for something.
- Rubber Gloves: Make sure you have some non-latex gloves on hand to prevent allergic reactions. You might not always be treating your own injuries: it could be a family member or friend too.
- A Dental Mirror: Injuries don’t care about being convenient and easy to see. Keep one of these on hand so you can see into the back spots of the mouth, and it doesn’t hurt to have a small flashlight too.
- Alcohol Wipes: These are great for cleaning a wound and removing blood or debris. We recommend the individually packaged ones for maximum sterilization.
- Cotton Gauze Wipes: Also a great way to clean up blood or dirt. You can buy these in a large pack and keep a bunch on hand for a variety of accidents.
- Salt: Keep a small vial handy to mix with warm water. It’s a great way to sterilize wounds and protect a knocked out tooth in a pinch.
- Cotton Swabs: Use them to get into sockets, clean out wounds, and apply topical products. Make sure to keep them in a plastic bag or other secure container so that they stay as clean as possible.
- Cotton Balls: These are ideal for cushioning injuries, soaking up blood, and stopping bleeding. Keep them with the cotton swabs or in their own package so they stay clean too.
- Dental Wax: If you’ve worn braces you know what this stuff is: it’s soft and pliable, perfect for covering fractured teeth or broken orthodontic wires. You just stick it right over the dangerous spot and you’re ready to go!
- Floss: You might have some of this around anyways (you should!) but it’s a good idea to have a separate pack in your emergency kit. Floss is great for dislodging food items or tissue from between teeth and gums. If you’ve ever had something large stuck there you know how painful it can be!
- Temporary Filling Material: You can purchase this putty-like material at most drugstores. It’s placed inside a tooth when a filling is lost to protect it until we can re-attach or replace the filling.
- Vaseline: It might be surprising, but Vaseline is great at forming a temporary seal for a crown or bridge that has come off. Fill the restoration with the gel and stick it back on to get a suction-like seal.
- Ibuprofen: Don’t keep aspirin in your kit: it’s a blood thinner and will make it hard to stop bleeding! Ibuprofen is the pain reliever of choice for dental injuries.
- Cold Packs: Great for reducing swelling and inflammation from injuries or a toothache. We suggest getting some of the single-use chemically activated ones for your kit so you don’t have to run to the freezer.
- Topical Anesthetic: You can apply it with a cotton swab for some fast numbing action.
- A Card With Our Number On It: Once you have everything in order it’s time to call our New Orleans office to let us know you’re coming in: we take emergency walk-ins whenever we’re here!
Being Prepared Is Essential To Care!
Don’t be caught unprepared in a dental emergency. The actions you take in the minutes after an accident of any kind can be the difference between saving a tooth and losing it. By having these items available when you need them you’ll be going a long way toward being prepared for the unexpected.