California Dental Association Offers Tips to Avoid Dental Emergencies

Posted on October 9, 2013

(PR Web)--Being at the peak of the summer weather, parents and children often take advantage of the warm season by enjoying more recreational sports and outdoor activities, which can increase injury potential for the teeth and mouth. For safe oral health all year long, and especially during this season, CDA is offering helpful tips to avoid oral injuries and dental emergencies.

While enjoying popular summer activities like swimming, biking or playing soccer, and to prevent dental accidents — including teeth that have been knocked out, broken or forced out of position — CDA suggests wearing a mouthguard.

“Accidents happen. But there are a number of things you can do to help prevent them. Wearing a mouthguard is a great example,” said CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, a pediatric dentist.

If a dental emergency does occur, CDA suggests the following tips for the best possible outcome.

If a tooth is knocked out, attempt to find the tooth and immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment. Handle the tooth gently and, being careful not to damage the surface of the root, place the tooth in a Save-A-Tooth kit or immerse in milk for transport to the dentist.

“If a tooth is knocked out, do not try placing the tooth back into the socket. This could cause more damage to the injury,” Robinson said. “If it’s within about 30 minutes of the injury, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth. And knowing what to do in a dental emergency can be the difference between losing a tooth and being able to save it.”

Should a tooth be pushed out of place, reposition it to its normal alignment with very light finger pressure, do not force the tooth into the socket. Instead, hold the tooth in place with a moist tissue or gauze and get to your dentist as quickly as possible.

For a broken or fractured tooth, rinse the area with warm water and use cold compresses on the injury to keep any swelling down.

“Treatment for a fractured tooth will depend on the severity of the fracture,” said Robinson. “Regardless of the damage, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible to determine appropriate treatment.”

If there’s an injury to the soft tissues of the mouth, including the cheek, lips or tongue, clean the wound right away and get to the emergency room for necessary suturing and wound repair. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound area.

Keep teeth healthy throughout the year by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day, avoiding sugary drinks like soda, flossing daily and visiting a dentist for a complete dental checkup on a regular basis.

About the California Dental Association

The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA’s membership consists of more than 25,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit cda.org.  

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