It’s hard not to love the holidays. So much time off work, parties, traveling, food and drink! No matter how you celebrate, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
However, just as you’re away enjoying the holiday, so too is your dentist! So while dental emergencies can happen at any time of the year, during the holidays, they can certainly feel more urgent.
If you wind up dealing with unexpected dental emergencies this holiday season, here are a few quick and easy ways to handle the most common issues!
Your Tooth Is Knocked Out or Damaged
There are plenty of ways you can damage or knock out a tooth completely during the holiday season — slipping on ice, eating hard candy or fruitcake, even car accidents while traveling.
Bring Your Broken Tooth With You
Any time you damage a tooth, first rinse out your mouth with warm water. Use some kind of cold compress on your face, to help reduce any pain and swelling.
Contact a local dental office with after-hours care, and bring the part of the tooth that came off with you. Sometimes damaged teeth can be repaired on the spot, and having the piece helps your dentist design a resin replacement if not.
Carry a Knocked-Out Tooth in Milk or Saline Solution
If your tooth was knocked out, try to find it! Then, drop it in a cup of milk or fill a container with your ordinary saline solution.
Visit a local emergency dental facility immediately for your next steps. Swishing with a little saltwater and press a moist paper towel against the damaged gum prior to heading out. This will help with bleeding while you wait to be seen.
Don’t forget your insurance card. They’ll need it if you’ve never been there before.
You’ve Got a Toothache That Won’t Go Away
A toothache can be caused by many things. Sinus infections, cavities, and tooth infections can all cause the same kind of tooth pain.
Home Treatment First
If you have a toothache, the first step is to rinse out your mouth and use a mild painkiller. Do not apply aspirin powder directly on any mouth surface, as it will burn delicate tissue. Note, however that swollen, bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease or a more serious infection.
When to Make a Dental Appointment
If the pain comes back, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Whatever you do, never ignore toothaches because a minor problem might become something much worse if you let it linger too long.
If your face is swollen, for instance, this is especially important. It can be a sign of a serious infection that needs antibiotics quick.
Your Filling or Crown Has Come Loose
These types of scenarios are often ones where it’s okay to wait until after the holidays to see your dentist. Below are a couple of tips to keep you going until then.
When a Filling Falls Out
If a filling has fallen out, you should make an appointment sooner than later to get it replaced. But waiting a few days is okay if necessary. While you wait, get beeswax or orthodontic wax to cover the missing filling. This helps prevent sensitivity and keeps food and bacteria away from the hole.
When You’ve Lost a Crown
If a dental crown falls off, the most important thing is to find and keep it. Carefully rinse the crown and the tooth and dry them off thoroughly. Put a small amount of toothpaste inside the crown and put it back on the tooth. This should keep it in place until you can get back to your dentist and have it sealed again.
Dental pain can ruin a holiday, and delaying treatment has consequences. You deserve to have a pain-free holiday, and quickly handling a dental emergency will help!