Does Your Home Have an Oral First Aid Kit?

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

All homes should be equipped with an oral first aid kit, according to Susan Calderbank, DMD. The kit should include a dental mirror, dental floss, a toothbrush, sterile gauze, oral wound care protectant, paraffin or dental wax, and an oxygenating oral cleanser. Whereas the kit does not replace professional treatment, items in the kit can be used to treat minor mouth irritations as well as to help alleviate or control oral problems until the patient can visit a dentist or physician. Dr. Calderbank offers the following tips for handling certain common dental emergencies:

  • Object wedged between the teeth—Try to remove the object with dental floss, and then rinse vigorously with water to remove any particles. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument. If the object cannot be removed, the patient should see a dentist.
  • Broken tooth—Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with an antiseptic oral cleanser. Place an ice pack or cold compress on the face in the area of the injured tooth to minimize swelling. If the tooth has a sharp edge, cover it with paraffin (wax) to prevent lacerations to the gums or cheek. See a dentist immediately.

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