Emergency Care Guide

Facing a dental emergency can be incredibly stressful. Understanding how to react in the immediate aftermath of a dental injury can greatly influence the outcome. The initial 30 minutes after an accident are particularly critical for treating trauma effectively. 

This guide provides essential steps to take for common dental emergencies, ensuring that you’re prepared to act quickly and effectively.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

  • Find the tooth: Carefully pick up the tooth by the crown (the part that’s visible when it’s in place in the mouth), avoiding the root.
  • Clean with care: Briefly rinse the tooth with saline solution or milk to remove any dirt. Avoid scrubbing or touching the root.
  • Inspect for damage: Check the tooth for any fractures. If it appears intact, attempt to reinsert it.
  • Attempt reinsertion: Try to place the tooth back into its socket. Have the person bite down on gauze to hold it in place.
  • Transportation: If reinsertion isn’t possible, keep the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva. Act swiftly to seek dental care.

Note: Do not attempt to reinsert knocked-out primary (baby) teeth, as this may harm the developing permanent tooth. Yet, seeing a dentist promptly remains crucial.

Broken Tooth

  • Clean the area: Gently rinse the mouth with warm water to remove any debris.
  • Apply a cold compress: To reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort, place a cold compress against the face near the injury.
  • Save tooth fragments: Collect any pieces of the broken tooth.
  • Seek dental care: Immediate attention from a dentist is necessary.

Broken Braces & Wires

  • Remove If possible: Take out any broken appliances that can be easily removed. If not, use wax to cover any sharp edges.
  • Do not remove: If a wire is lodged in the gum or soft tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Visit a dentist immediately.
  • Non-urgent cases: Loose or broken appliances that aren’t causing discomfort may not need immediate dental attention.

Cut Or Bitten Tongue, Lip, Or Cheek

  • Rinse: Clean the area with warm salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide (50% water, 50% hydrogen peroxide).
  • Apply cold compress: To reduce swelling, use cold compresses on the affected area.
  • Dental visit: It’s important to see a dentist, especially if bleeding persists or the injury is severe.


  • Clean around the tooth: Rinse the mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food trapped around the tooth.
  • Avoid aspirin on the gums: Do not place aspirin directly on the gum or the aching tooth.
  • Apply cold compress: If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth.
  • See a dentist: Persistent discomfort warrants a visit to the dentist to identify and treat the underlying cause.

In all cases of dental emergencies, acting swiftly and following these guidelines can help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of further damage, and ensure the best possible outcome. Remember, prompt dental care is crucial.

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