Know what to do in a dental emergency Dental accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Knowing how to properly handle dental emergencies can go a long way in both keeping your child calm and in saving your child’s permanent teeth. Here, DR PIN of Expat Dental shares six common dental emergencies and what to do for each. #1 Knocked-out tooth First, find the tooth and pick it up by the crown – do not touch the roots. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water, milk or saline. Then, if it’s a permanent tooth, try to put it back into the socket facing the correct way. Bite down on a piece of cloth to hold it in place. But, do not reinsert a baby tooth! If you can’t insert the tooth back into the socket, just keep it moist in cold milk or place it in a container with saliva. Then, visit the dentist immediately! #2 Chipped or fractured tooth Treatment for a chipped or broken tooth really depends on the size and severity of the fracture. A slightly chipped tooth is usually not an emergency, although it’s still a good idea to visit the dentist at your earliest convenience. For a large chip or fracture, especially if it is painful, bleeding or if the tooth is loose, visit your dentist immediately. And, if you’re able to locate it, bring along the tooth fragment. #3 Intruded tooth A tooth is intruded when it’s driven up into its socket, causing a fracture of the alveolar bone (the structure under your gums that holds the roots of your teeth in place). This type of injury usually results from impact or a fall. If your child’s tooth becomes intruded, rinse his or her mouth with water, then control the bleeding around the gums. Visit the dentist immediately to assess the severity of the injury. For minor intrusions of young permanent teeth, the dentist may opt to let the tooth re-erupt naturally. In other cases, repositioning and intervention may be necessary. #4 Injuries to lips, cheeks or tongue Any injury to your child’s lips, cheeks or tongue should be cleaned, or the area should be rinsed with water. You can control the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. You can also apply a cold compress or ice pack to reduce the swelling.

Additionally, you’ll want to assess the severity of the injury. Do visit the dentist if you think your child may require stitches or treatment to help with the bleeding and swelling. #5 Dental abscess A dental abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. It usually occurs because of an untreated cavity or an injury. Symptoms include redness and swelling of the gums, and severe pain. If untreated, a dental abscess can lead to fever and facial swelling. Visit the dentist immediately for treatment of the tooth or gum infection. Antibiotics are usually required to control this type of infection. #6 Toothache A toothache is sharp or throbbing pain in or around a tooth that can be caused by a number of different dental problems including tooth decay or cavities, inflammation or infection in the root of the tooth or in the gums, or a dental abscess. Sometimes, the pain can even be caused by an accumulation of food trapped between the teeth. Have your child rinse, then examine their mouth to check for anything between the teeth. Floss to remove any caught food or debris. If the tooth still hurts, call your dental clinic for an appointment. Give your child some over-the-counter pain medication to relieve severe pain until you’re able to see your dentist for further investigation. Expat Dental #08-15/16 Novena Medical Centre, 10 Sinaran Drive | 6397 6718 #01-00 Malacca Centre, 20 Malacca Street | 6816 5732



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