Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time for endless outdoor activities, vacation, and general fun in the sun. However, a lot of these activities, such as chewing on ice and swimming, can actually increase your chance of experiencing a dental emergency. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, here are some tips from an emergency dentist in Manahawkin to help you deal with it.
You Chipped or Broke Your Tooth
Whether you broke your tooth from playing contact football or trying to do a backflip off the diving board, this situation is never fun. Be sure to call your dentist first thing and let them know you chipped a tooth. However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime.
If you’re bleeding, press some gauze or a wet paper towel to the area until the bleeding stops. To reduce swelling and pain, you can put an ice pack against the lip or cheek closest to the injured tooth. Avoid hard foods for the time being. If the chipped tooth has a sharp edge that could hurt the soft tissues in your mouth, you can cover it with dental wax, which can be found at most drugstores.
You Knocked Out a Tooth
If you can find the tooth, pick it up by the crown (the part you chew with) and gently rinse it off with warm water. Then try placing the tooth back in the socket. Make sure it’s facing the right way. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or a saltwater solution until you can see your dentist. If you can get to your dentist within an hour, there’s a good chance it can be successfully reattached.
You Lost a Crown
A lost crown is not as urgent as a lost or broken tooth, but you should still contact your dentist as soon as you can. This is because the underlying tooth can change shape without the crown, and it’s more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. If your crown gets dislodged, you can use dental wax, denture adhesive, or even toothpaste to temporarily reattach it until you can visit your dentist.
You Have a Bad Toothache
If you have intense tooth pain, try flossing to get rid of any food particles that may be stuck in between the teeth. Try over-the-counter pain relievers if the pain persists. Contact your dentist if the painkillers don’t work or your discomfort lasts for several days. It could be a sign of a cavity that needs attention.
How to Prevent Dental Emergencies
Here are some tips to prevent an extra visit to your emergency dentist near Jersey Shore this summer:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, even while on vacation
- Floss every day
- Limit sugary foods and beverages
- Avoid chewing on ice
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
- Visit your dentist for a checkup before you leave for vacation
No emergency is 100 percent preventable, but by following these tips, you can help decrease your chance of one happening to you.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Young has been serving the Manahawkin community for more than 40 years. After graduating top of his class from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry and then completing a hospital-based residency at the Jersey Shore Medical Center, he finished a two-year post-graduate program in implant surgery at the Misch Institute of Implantology, a prestigious institution which has admitted only a small percentage of dentists. If you have a dental emergency in the Manahawkin area, contact Dr. Young at (609)-597-1830.