Dealing with a dental emergency can be scary, especially if you are concerned about how the injury will impact the future health, placement, and appearance of your teeth. Fortunately, by keeping a few crucial supplies on hand, you can prevent causing more significant damage, raising your chances of making a full recovery. Here are three supplies you should keep on hand and how they can help during a dental emergency.
1. Sterile Gauze If you find yourself with an oral laceration or a knocked out tooth, you might experience some bleeding. To keep the area sanitary while slowing the bleeding, consider applying sterile gauze. You can bite down on pads of sterile gauze to slow the blood loss around a knocked out tooth, or simply place gauze between the laceration and the side of your cheek to help with areas that may have been bitten or cut by food items or orthodontic wires.
2. Tooth Preservation Kits Losing a permanent tooth is a serious dental emergency, and keeping that avulsed tooth in good condition is essential for proper placement. Unfortunately, the tiny blood vessels inside of knocked out teeth can develop small clots, impacting blood flow and interfering with re-implantation.
To make it easier for dentists to reinsert teeth and to increase the chances that the repair holds, consider keeping a tooth preservation kit on hand. These special containers are pre-filled with a balanced salt solution that is similar to your body's pH, helping blood vessels to stay alive and open.
If possible, keep a tooth preservation kit alongside your normal first aid kit at home, and one in your car for when you are on-the-go.
3. Dental Wax When teeth break, they can also expose nerves, which can be incredibly painful. However, by having dental wax handy, you can create a quick custom repair that is easy for dentists to remove when you make it into the office. Use dental wax to smooth out the edge of a recently chipped tooth, to cover the exposed area on a dental fracture, or to cover the sharp edges of orthodontic wires and brackets.
While having emergency dental supplies on hand is certainly helpful, it also pays to have the name and number of an emergency dentist available in case you need to make an urgent appointment. Talk with your dentist as soon as possible the next time you find yourself with a dental emergency to prevent collateral damage and ongoing pain.