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From time to time, you may have to cope with a dental emergency. It may be a tooth knocked out or broken while playing sports. It may be a broken wire on your braces. The dental cement holding a crown may give out, or a filling may be loose. It could be the sudden appearance of a toothache in the middle of the night. Whatever the emergency, once you have addressed the problem at hand, you should contact your dentist right away. Many practices make time available for emergency cases during the day or have an emergency number for their patients to call. There are things that you can do before the appointment to get the situation under control.

If you have had a tooth knocked out, you should handle it by the crown and not by the roots. Rinse it in cool water and try to place it back in the socket. If you can, bite down gently on it through a piece of gauze to hold it in place. If you cannot place it in the socket, you should place it in a tooth preserving solution, milk, or between your cheek and gum. Time is of the essence if you want to save the tooth. You should see the dentist within 30 minutes, however in some cases, you may have a window of two hours. For a broken tooth, you need to rinse your mouth and use a cold compress to bring down and swelling. If you find yourself with a toothache, floss and brush the tooth gently to remove any foreign objects. An over-the-counter or topical pain reliever may help with any discomfort. If you have broken part of your braces, you should use dental wax to remove keep the damage from irritating the inside of your mouth.  Dental cement can be used to hold a loose crown or filling in place.

Remember that each of these measures is temporary. Any time that you damage your teeth and mouth, you should contact your dentist. Remember that keeping your teeth and mouth healthy can lessen the chances that an accident can do serious damage. If you are looking for a dentist for your family, call 510.974.2147 to schedule an appointment to meet with our dentist, Dr. Carolyn Yu in Pinole, California.