It's a fact of life - emergencies happen and often when your dentist office is closed. We have composed a list of do's and dont's for some dental emergencies. In all cases you should get to a dentist or your dentist as soon as possible, but the following tips should keep you going until you can get there.

  • Do brush and rinse your teeth with warm water to keep it as clean as possible.
  • Do use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth.
  • Don't place an aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissue.
  • See your dentist as soon as possible.
Knocked-Out Tooth
  • Do rinse the tooth in running water if it's dirty.
  • Don't scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.
  • Do gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket or place it in a cup of milk or cool water.
  • Do go straight to your dentist-if you get there within 30 minutes or less, there's a good chance that the tooth can be put back in its proper place.
Broken tooth
  • Do gently clean dirt from the injured area with warm water.
  • Do place cold compresses on the face in the injured area to decrease swelling
  • Do go to your dentist immediately.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
  • Do apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding
  • Do apply cold to the injured area to decrease swelling and bleeding.
  • Do go to the emergency room if the bleeding doesn't stop.
Possible Broken Jaw
  • Don't move your jaw
  • Do secure it in place by tying a handkerchief, necktie or towel around the jaw and over the top of your head.
  • Do apply cold compressed if swelling is present.
  • Do go immediately to a hospital emergency room for further evaluation.

For additional information on resources on key dental health questions; i.e. canker/cold sores, etc. visit the American Dental Association website.

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Delaware State Dental Society
892 Eichele Road
Perkiomenville, PA 18074-9510
Phone: 302-368-7634