Dental First Aid

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What do I do if I develop a toothache?

If you have a toothache, please call us to make an appointment to see one of our friendly dentists.

Toothaches can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes they can be attributed to something as simple as a piece of food caught between your teeth or under your gum line. Make sure this isn’t the case by passing a piece of floss between the affected tooth or teeth to thoroughly clean the area and remove any lodged food.

If your toothache has caused swelling and you are in pain, try taking over the counter pain relief (preferably one that contains an anti-inflammatory agent) to reduce the swelling and discomfort. Please do not apply painkillers directly to the affected tooth, as this could result in burns to your gums.

What do I do if I develop a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is caused by an infection in your tooth and can often be detected by severe pain and/or a pus pimple on your gums. If untreated, this infection can, not only cause serious damage to the tooth, but can also cause damage to the surrounding tissues and teeth and could spread to the rest of the body. For this reason it’s important to book an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as you can.

To alleviate your immediate discomfort, we recommend you try taking over the counter pain relief and that you bathe the affected area with a warm salt-water mouth rinse every 1 to 2 hours if possible.

What do I do if my tooth is knocked out?

If your tooth is knocked out, carefully pick up the tooth by its crown, which is the large white part that you normally see in the mouth, then gently rinse the whole tooth under water. Be careful not to remove any tooth or tissue fragments when doing so.

You then have two options. You can try reinserting your tooth yourself, being careful not to force it back in, making sure that it faces the correct way once back in its socket and holding it in place with a clean finger whilst you make your way to see a dentist. Alternatively, if you are at all unsure or uneasy about the above procedure, carefully store the tooth in a small, clean container, with some lightly salted water or milk and contact us immediately or visit any emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Reinsertions tend to be most effective if they are carried out within the first 30 minutes to 1 hour after the accident. So the quicker you act, the higher the success rate of saving the tooth.

What do I do if my tooth is partially knocked out?

If your tooth is partially knocked out of place, please contact us as soon as you can to book an appointment. If you are experiencing discomfort in the meantime, we recommend that you take over the counter pain relief.

What do I do if I break or chip my tooth?

If you chip or break your tooth, be careful to remove any sharp, broken pieces of tooth from your mouth immediately, by rinsing it out with water. If you experience any bleeding as a result of the trauma, gently apply pressure to the area for 20 minutes with a clean piece of gauze. Please contact us to make an appointment to have the tooth restored, as broken teeth can be more susceptible to decay or infection if left untreated.

What do I do if my crown or temporary crown becomes dislodged?

If your crown or temporary crown falls off your tooth, please make an appointment to see us and bring the crown with you if you still have it, as it may be possible to re-cement it. Please do not attempt to re-cement or superglue your crown back in place yourself, as this can damage your tooth.

If the exposed tooth feels uncomfortable or sensitive, you can try applying a little oil of cloves to help reduce this sensation as a temporary measure, until you come in to see us for a more permanent solution.

What do I do if I lose a filling?

If you lose a filling, please contact us as soon as you can to book an appointment to have it repaired. In the meantime, you could try a temporary repair using dental cement from a chemist or even some supermarkets. Please clean the tooth thoroughly first and try to keep the area as clean as you can until your dental appointment.

What do I do if I break an orthodontic wire or bracket?

Orthodontic wires are made from delicate metals and can be broken or damaged as a result of a number of things, including biting into tough food or the forces applied when chewing. If you break a wire or a bracket becomes loose, please contact us immediately to book an appointment to have it fixed. Leaving your orthodontic appliance broken may delay treatment, so it is important to have it repaired sooner rather than later. In the meantime, if you are experiencing discomfort from a sharp or broken wire or bracket, you can try using the orthodontic wax we gave you or try gently positioning some gauze or cotton wool to cover the wire until you come in to see us.

What do I do if I injure my cheek, gums or lip?

Your soft tissues are supplied by a large number of blood vessels, for this reason, injuries to your lips, cheeks, or gums can cause a lot of bleeding. You can try to minimise the bleeding by first, rinsing your mouth with a salt-water solution to disinfect the area. Make sure the water is not too warm, as heat can increase bleeding. Next, apply pressure to the area with a clean piece of gauze for 20 minutes, using your fingers. Be sure to sit still and in an upright position, this will help to reduce the bleeding.

If the bleeding fails to stop, then you should contact us immediately for telephone advice. If it is outside normal trading hours, then you should visit an after-hours dentist or doctor as soon as possible.