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In an emergency, regardless of whether someone is hurt or a building is on fire, time is of the essence. The same is true for a dental emergency. It is crucial to get to a dentist as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do in the meantime to help ensure a positive outcome.

Knocked-out tooth – Rinse the tooth in warm water, but don’t scrub. Touch only the crown, never the root. If possible, try to replace the tooth in its socket. If this can’t be done, place the tooth in milk, water with a pinch of salt, or a tooth preservation solution. Teeth have the best chance of being saved within 1 hour of being knocked out.

Chipped or broken tooth – Save any fragments. Rinse them and your mouth with water, and stop any bleeding with gauze.

Lost filling or crown – If your filling comes out, place some sugarfree gum on the cavity. Sugar-filled gum causes pain. For a lost crown, try and fit it back into place, coating the area first with toothpaste or dental cement. Apply some clove oil with a cotton swab to control pain.

Toothache – Rinse your mouth clean and remove any lodged food particles with floss. Use a cold compress to manage swelling and pain. Don’t put an aspirin directly against gums, since this can cause burning.

We hope you never have a dental emergency, but if you do, Dr. Obiora E. Nkwonta and everyone here at Rainier Dental Center will do their utmost to get you back to normal as soon as possible. Stay safe out there.