Accidents happen, and while your teeth are very strong, they can still break and crack. While you can’t usually anticipate dental emergencies, you can learn what to do beforehand! Here are the immediate steps for broken or cracked teeth:
It’s normal to feel anxiety during a dental emergency, but it won’t be as overwhelming when you know what to do. The first step is to stay calm. Assess the situation and see if you have any other injuries to your mouth. If you’re bleeding a lot, get a clean cloth or gauze and apply pressure to your injury.
Rinse Your Mouth
Rinsing your mouth helps clean the area and rinse away any blood. You should use lukewarm water as hot or cold water can hurt. To gently clean your mouth, you can mix 1 tsp salt with 1 cup warm water and swish. You do not want to brush your teeth at this time.
Find the Tooth Fragment
Try to find the broken-off bits of your tooth. If you’re successful, gently rinse the tooth from any dirt or debris before putting it in a container with a little milk or your own saliva. The key is to keep the tooth moist. If possible, we’ll try to reattach the fragment with composite resin. Other restorative treatments include crowns, dental bonding, and root canals.
Manage Pain and Swelling
If you’re experiencing pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. To tackle swelling, apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a towel for 15-20 minutes. Don’t hold the ice against your skin for too long! You can get an ice burn.
Call an Emergency Dentist Right Away
Broken and cracked teeth are dental emergencies, so call a dentist as soon as you can. Depending on how severe the break is, we might want to see you within a few hours. If we decide it’s okay to see you in the next few days, we’ll provide instructions on how to care for your smile in the meantime.
Dental Emergencies at Fielder Park Dental in Arlington, TX
Dental emergencies can happen at any time, which is why we’re happy to offer extended hours. We also have a dentist on call who responds to after-hours emergency calls at 214-984-3423. If you have questions or want to book an appointment with Dr. Mercer, Dr. Saunders, Dr. Yu, or Dr. Joseph, please contact us today!
Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0