Even for those who have the best dental care habits, a dental emergency can strike when least expected. Instead of hoping that it won’t happen to you, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. One way to go about it is to keep a dental emergency kit, but what should it include? Continue reading to find out.
Keeping Things in Perspective
Your dental emergency kit should never be used as a substitute for visiting a dentist. Instead, focus on stopping any bleeding, gathering any dislodged pieces and temporarily relieving the pain. The next step should be to schedule an emergency dental visit so you can fully recover.
Your Dental Emergency Kit Checklist
Here are some of the items you’ll need:
It’s important to have gloves on hand, especially when there is any bleeding. Latex gloves are the most popular choice. However, if someone in your family has a latex allergy, you can purchase vinyl gloves instead.
If you have a wound that is difficult to see – maybe in the dark corners of your mouth, a dental mirror will come in handy. You can buy one with an attached light or purchase a separate small flashlight for your kit.
Cotton balls and gauze pads
When there is any bleeding or a cheek injury, soft cotton balls and gauze pads are priceless to have. They should remain neatly packed so they can remain clean and ready for use in the event of an emergency.
Does anyone in your family wear braces? If so, you’ll want to keep some dental wax handy, as it helps soothe any irritation caused by the wires and brackets. It can also be used to temporarily reattach a dislodged tooth.
If you have an oral ulcer or canker sore, Orabase can be used to decrease the sensitivity. The pasty substance contains benzocaine, which is a local numbing agent.
Food stuck between your teeth can sometimes cause noticeable discomfort and pain. Therefore, you should always keep dental floss in your emergency kit to gently clean between your teeth.
When a toothache strikes or there is an injury to the face, you can expect some swelling. Keep an ice pack in the freezer so it will be ready when you need it.
For temporary pain relief, ibuprofen is your best choice. While you’re likely familiar with the notable brands, Advil, Motrin and Aleve, you can also purchase a generic brand to save a few dollars.
As previously mentioned, the goal – in a dental emergency – should never be to avoid seeing a dentist. Such an approach could lead to complications with your oral and overall health. However, when used properly and in conjunction with receiving expert emergency dental care, your kit can act as a great steppingstone toward a full recovery.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Pirkle earned his dental degree from the Nova Southeastern University Dental School. Throughout a career that has spanned over 15 years, he has helped hundreds of patients recover from dental emergencies by providing comprehensive care. Dr. Pirkle practices at Sebastian Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.