Stay Safe During Spring Break
Are you planning to toss off the winter doldrums by traveling to a warm vacation spot over Spring Break? Perhaps your child is at a sports camp or you’re planning an active vacation together as a family. No matter how much planning goes into a trip, unexpected things can happen. Here’s what to do if you or a family member has a dental emergency. Tackle your toothache. If you or a loved one gets a toothache, clean the painful area using a soft toothbrush and floss. Rinse with warm salt water. Apply a cold compress to help with facial swelling and take acetaminophen. Call a dentist as soon as possible. Seek immediate treatment for a lost tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked completely out, call a dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. If possible, get the person and their tooth to a dental office within 30 minutes. This makes it possible for a dentist to re-implant the tooth. Gently place the tooth back in its socket during the trip to the dentist. Or transport it in a cup of milk, salt water, saliva or plain water. You also can place the tooth between the cheek and gum (unless the child is too young). Try to reposition a loose tooth. Use very little pressure and don’t force a tooth back into its socket. Take the injured person to the dentist as soon as possible. You can stabilize the tooth with moist tissue and gauze on your way to the dentist. Seek dental care immediately for a broken tooth. Dental treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and could range from smoothing out the chip to bonding with a tooth-colored resin material, to placing a crown or cap on the tooth. If there has been a pulp (nerve) injury, a root canal may be necessary. Clean a soft tissue injury with warm water. If there is bleeding to the tongue, lips or cheeks, apply firm pressure with gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within 15 minutes, contact a dentist. You also can apply an ice compress to the bruised or swollen area. Most oral emergencies can be lessened or even prevented with proper protection. It’s better to be safe than sorry!