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None of us ever want to be involved in an emergency. If we are, though, we know to call 911 in order to receive the help we need. But what about a dental emergency, such as a knocked-out tooth? While you don’t need to call the paramedics, there are important steps to take in a dental emergency in order to best save your tooth.

Regardless of the nature of a dental emergency, it is crucial to get to a dentist as soon as possible. This might seem like a no-brainer for something like a knocked-out tooth, but some people put off things like toothaches for hours or days until it is more convenient. Please don’t do this.

So, what if you have knocked a tooth out? Rinse it off with water, touching only the crown, never the root. Also, don’t scrub it. Try and fit it back into its socket. If it won’t go, put it in a glass of milk or lightly salted water.

If you chip or break a tooth, save as many fragments as possible. Rinse your mouth with water and stop any bleeding.

If you lose a filling, fill it with some sugarfree gum (sugar-filled gum causes pain.) If you lose a crown, try and fit it back into place, first filling it with toothpaste. Applying a little clove oil can relieve pain.

If you have a toothache, remove any stuck food particles with floss and use a cold compress for swelling. Don’t put an aspirin on the gums, since this can cause burning.

Again, always get to the dentist as quickly as possible. Time is a huge factor in being able to save a tooth or prevent lasting damage. Legacy Smiles Family Dental in Meridian, ID, is equipped to treat any dental emergency (although we hope we never have to.)