Warm summer weather inspires people to get outside to enjoy swimming and sports. As always, with more fun in the sun comes more risk for dental injuries. It’s important to keep dental emergency information, such as dental benefits and dentist phone numbers, handy for yourself and childcare providers in case you experience summer tooth trauma.
Along with dental emergency information, it’s also smart to have an on-the-go dental first aid kit for any tooth troubles or to care for a minor dental injury. Keep these first-aid items in your kit:
- Rubber gloves for sanitary reasons.
- Alcohol wipes to clean blood and dirt from the injured area around your lips/mouth.
- Cotton balls or gauze pads to stop bleeding and protect the injury.
- Hydrogen peroxide to clean up blood and disinfect wounds.
- Salt to dissolve into warm water and make a soothing mouthwash.
- Floss to remove stuck particles from teeth in order to relieve pain and make treating the wound easier.
- Dental wax to cover broken orthodontic wires, brackets or sharp fractured teeth.
- Pain reliever (acetaminophen or aspirin) to help ease oral pain.
- Topical anesthetic to help manage pain.
- Vaseline to temporarily reattach a crown that has fallen off until a dentist can be seen.
- Temporary dental filling material to keep the injured tooth protected until you can get to a dentist.
Minor dental injuries – like biting your lip or tongue – can be addressed with your dental first aid kit. But more serious dental injuries, like a knocked out tooth, require a trip to the emergency room or dental office. If a tooth is knocked out, rinse it with cold water. Place the tooth back in the socket if possible. If not, place it in a clean holder with milk, water or saliva and get to the dentist as soon as possible. The first half hour is critical in trying to save the tooth. Only try to replace permanent teeth, not baby teeth. Stay safe this summer!