Does Your Home Have an Oral First Aid Kit?
All homes should be equipped with an oral first aid kit, accordingto Susan Calderbank, DMD. The kit should include a dentalmirror, dental floss, a toothbrush, sterile gauze, oral wound careprotectant, paraffin or dental wax, and an oxygenating oralcleanser. Whereas the kit does not replace professional treatment,items in the kit can be used to treat minor mouth irritationsas well as to help alleviate or control oral problems until thepatient can visit a dentist or physician. Dr. Calderbank offers thefollowing tips for handling certain common dental emergencies:
- Object wedged between the teeth—Try to remove theobject with dental floss, and then rinse vigorously with waterto remove any particles. Do not try to remove the object witha sharp or pointed instrument. If the object cannot beremoved, the patient should see a dentist.
- Broken tooth—Gently clean dirt or debris from the injuredarea with an antiseptic oral cleanser. Place an ice pack orcold compress on the face in the area of the injured tooth tominimize swelling. If the tooth has a sharp edge, cover itwith paraffin (wax) to prevent lacerations to the gums orcheek. See a dentist immediately.