Dental Emergency Basics

shutterstock_176031716Do you know what to do if you crack a tooth, mess up your braces, or wake up with a toothache? Find out below:


Toothaches can be irritating, distracting, or excruciating. If you’re suffering from a toothache, take the following steps.

  • Carefully clean your mouth. Rinse with warm water. Then brush gently and floss carefully between each tooth. This will dislodge any foreign objects that could be causing you pain.
  • Call your dentist to schedule a check up and ask for advice. Carefully follow whatever advice your dentist gives you.
  • While you wait to see the dentist, use a cold compress to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. You should never put painkillers in your mouth to relieve a toothache because they could seriously damage your gums.

Cracked Or Chipped Teeth

If you chip or crack a tooth, collect any pieces and rinse them off in warm water. Rinse your mouth out with warm water and then use gauze to stop any bleeding. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Use a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling while you wait to see the dentist.

Broken Braces

If your braces are broken or a wire is sticking out, attempt to move the wires back into place. Never cut a wire since you could accidentally inhale or swallow the piece that gets cut off. This could damage your throat and lungs. If you can’t get the wire back into place, use orthodontic wax or gauze to cover the wire so it doesn’t scrape up the inside of your mouth. Then contact your orthodontist.

Knocked Out Tooth

If you knock out a tooth, it is important to contact your dentist immediately. The sooner you see your dentist, the more likely it is you’ll be able to save your tooth. Rinse off your tooth with warm water and store it in milk while you wait to see the dentist. Avoid touching the root of the tooth. Use gauze to stop any bleeding in your mouth while you wait to see the dentist.


To learn more about handling dental emergencies, contact Dr. O’Brien.


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