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When the unexpected happens to your or a loved one’s tooth, do you know what to do? The most important thing is to stay calm and call your emergency dentist in Encinitas immediately. Dr. McElroy is here for you when you need him most. After you’ve stabilized the situation and called the dentist, here’s what to do next.

#1: Collect the tooth

If you or someone you love have lost a tooth following an accident, find the tooth first. Then call your dentist as soon as possible. Teeth have the best chance of being successfully reattached when attended to within the first two hours of loss. Rinse away any debris with cold water, but do not scrub or touch its root. Place the tooth back in the empty socket. If that’s not possible due to injury, a cup or water or milk will suffice until you can reach the dentist’s office.

A note for children: baby teeth that have been lost due to accident cannot be replaced due to the risk of damage to the permanent tooth underneath, but your child should still be evaluated by a dentist.

#2: Ease the ache

If a toothache or pain following an injury are too much to handle, take an over-the-counter pain medication as recommended. You can also rinse the mouth with warm salt water to soothe an infection. It’s important that you seek a dentist’s attention as soon as you experience dental pain. Toothaches do not get better on their own, and they can quickly abscess and spread to other areas of the body.

Often, children’s toothaches are caused by a large food particle caught between the teeth. If your little one complains of an aching tooth, first help him or her floss and rinse the area. If pain persists, contact the dentist in Encinitas for relief.

#3: Reduce swelling

Swelling is common with injuries like broken, fractured, or knocked out teeth. To reduce swelling, apply a cold compress to the affected cheek in 10 minute intervals (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off). Use a bag of ice, a frozen towel, or a bag of peas or corn for effective icing.

#4: Stop the bleeding

If the affected area is bleeding following your dental emergency, stabilize the situation by stopping or slowing the flow of blood. Apply constant pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If heavy bleeding persists after 10 minutes, don’t waste any more time. Head straight to the emergency room.

#5: Know When to Call 911

Some situations are dire enough that they require the need for emergency medical attention with a call to 911. Uncontrollable bleeding is one of these. Likewise, a fractured jaw, lacerated tongue or lip, and other serious traumas require a trip to the emergency room.

Have Our Number Ready

There’s no planning for your next dental emergency, but you can help yourself be more prepared by having McElroy Smiles by Design’s contact information nearby. Program our number into your phone and your emergency dentist is only a few taps away! Dental emergencies are stressful, but we’re here when you need us most.

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