Ashton Family Dentistry and Orthodontics is here to help you with every aspect of your dental health. If you or a family member is facing a dental or orthodontic emergency, we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re treated as soon as possible. While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and it’s important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.
For after-hours care for current patients, please call our emergency line at 240-406-0484
What to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency
Locate the tooth and pick it up by the chewing surface, being careful not to touch the root. If the tooth is not dirty or broken, attempt to reinsert it into the empty socket. If it is a permanent tooth and you are able to reinsert it, hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean piece of cloth or gauze and go directly to your dentist. If you cannot reinsert the tooth (or if it is dirty, broken, or a primary tooth), put the tooth in a glass of milk and take it immediately to your dentist’s office.
Even if the damaged tooth is not a permanent one, it is important to go immediately to the dentist office. Once a tooth has become chipped or broken, bacteria can enter the tooth’s pulp or nerve. It is important for your dentist to evaluate the damage and seal the enamel to keep bacteria out. If you can locate the piece of broken tooth, put it in a glass of milk and bring it with you to your dentist. In some cases, the broken piece can be reattached in the office.
– If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure on the area using a clean cloth.
– If there is swelling, use a cold compress to reduce the swelling.
– Take an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen if there is any pain or discomfort.
A cut or bitten tongue, lip, or cheek can lead to bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. To relieve these symptoms, apply direct pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. If there is swelling, you can reduce it by applying a cold compress. Finally, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for any discomfort or soreness.
What to Expect After Your Orthodontic Adjustment
It is normal to experience soreness after braces are first placed in your mouth and after adjustments. This should subside completely within two to three days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, will usually provide immediate relief.
If a wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with orthodontic wax or tuck it under the arch wire with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until you can be seen in our office. Call our office during patient hours when you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance, if indicated.
A broken or poking arch wire can often be bent in with a pencil eraser. If you feel the problem has not been resolved properly, please contact our office as soon as possible.