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Dental first aid kit

21 June 2017

Mouth disorders can be very unpleasant. The most frequent ones are tooth damages, mouth ulcers and wounds caused by the mechanical factors on lips and mucosals.

According to doctor Susan Calderbank, the lecturer at the Faculty Of Dental Medicine of the Pittsburgh University, in order to be fully prepared for the unexpected events, we should assemble our own dental first aid kit and learn about the basic procedures during the situations when our oral cavity gets damaged in any way.

The assembled first aid kit should be the source of emergency help in case of tooth and gum injuries, both for children and adults. It can be used in case of slight irritations or as a supplement until we’ll visit the specialist.

What should be contained within the dental first aid kit?

According to dr Calderbank, this kind of first aid kit should mainly contain: dental floss, gauze, q-tips, mouth mirror, cotton pads, tweezers, toothbrush, face cloth, a bottle of water, a paraffin or dental wax, hydrogen peroxide, aspirin, instant cold compresses, salt and medical gloves. These are the products which, once assembled in one spot, can allow us to get help fast in case of the oral cavity damages.

What to do in case of oral cavity damages?

Toothache: the first step should be washing the mouth out with warm water, which will help us get rid of food remains. Next, we should clean the interdental surfaces using a dental floss or interdental toothbrush. In case of swelling, we can apply the cold compress for 20 minutes, followed by 20 minute break. The pain can be reduced with the aspirin, but we should avoid the old method of crushing it and then applying the powder to our gums – it might cause burns. Remember that the teeth don’t hurt for no reason and every unpleasant situation requires a medical attention!

Food stuck between the teeth: the simplest way to remove food remains is using either a dental floss or an interdental toothbrush. We shouldn’t use the tools with sharp edges (such as needles, toothpicks or tweezers) because they can damage the tooth. Next, we should intensively wash our mouth out with water. If the food remains still remain despite of the aforementioned advices, you should consult your dentist.

Mouth ulcers: they appear on mucosals as ulcerating wounds. They can pop up on lips, gums, tongue, soft palate and the internal side of our cheeks, either individually or in groups. The healing process can be improved by washing our mouth out with sage/camomile decoction or a spoon of hydrogen peroxide solution added to the cup of boiled water.

Avulsed tooth: this kind of damage requires immediate dental help. It’s recommended to keep the knocked out tooth (the safest way to store it is to put it in small container filled with milk, saline, salted water or saliva). If the permanent tooth got knocked out, we should wash it first and then carefully and while wearing sterile gloves, we should put it back on its plce, witohut touching the root. the best results can be achieved if a dentist will attach the tooth within 30 minutes since it got knocked out. After two hours and more, the chances of a succesful re-implantation are very slim.

Broken tooth:  the first step while dealing with such occurence should be the delicate cleaning of the wounded spot with antiseptic mouthwash. If the result of the tooth breaking is a sharp edge, we can secure it using the dental wax. A cold compress will definitely help with toothache and swelling. Breaking your tooth requires immediate mediecal attention. If you managed to find the pieces which broke off your tooth, take them to the dentist with you.

Lip/tongue biting:  in this case, we should act similarly to how we deal with a regular bleeding – apply a sterilized gauze to the wound for 15 – 20 minutes. We can also use the antiseptic mouthwash. Swelling and pain can be reduced by using a cold compress. If the bleeding is intense and doesn’t stop, we should go to the hospital.

The above set of advices is a great source of basic knowledge regarding the most common damages to the oral cavity. Internalizing them will help us act quickly whenever the situation requires.