First aid for your teeth is rarely ever taught in school, and most people do not have a family dental first aid kit. This is unfortunate because injuries to the teeth and mouth are very common, especially among children. Whether you are a parent or a young adult, it is important to always be prepared for emergencies.
The following are some of the essential items you should add to your family dental first aid kit:
1. General supplies
These items are basic essentials that can help with most dental emergencies. You should also have them in your first aid kit if you travel a lot. They include:
a. Medical-grade gloves: You can have latex gloves or vinyl gloves in case you have to help someone who has a latex allergy. Gloves are very important when you are treating someone else as they help prevent the spread of infections and germs.
b. Dental mirror: A dental mirror helps you see a wound in the dark corners of your mouth. You can buy one with an attached light, or you can get a separate flashlight for your kit as well.
c. Cotton balls and gauze pads: Cotton balls and gauze pads can help stop bleeding and cushion a cheek. Always ensure they remain neatly packed so that they stay clean.
d. Dental wax: This wax comes in handy if any of your family members has orthodontic brackets. Dental wax helps soothe the irritation caused by these wires and brackets.
e. Orabase: This is a paste that can help you heal mouth ulcers and canker sores.
f. Dental floss: Food stuck between your teeth can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Therefore, you should always have dental floss in your emergency kit to provide relief during these situations.
You can also include alcohol to treat a wound and salt to rinse and clean out any dirt particles and bacteria.
2. Pain relievers
Dental pain can be excruciating. This is why you should always include pain relievers in your first aid kit. Examples include:
a. Orajel: This is a topical anesthetic that eases the pain from soft tissue damage. This numbing medicine can also provide temporary relief when your child is teething.
b. Ice pack: If you have a loose tooth or pain due to a dental injury, an ice pack can provide temporary relief. Ice packs also come in handy where there is swelling or trauma to the face or mouth.
c. Ibuprofen: Keep an over-the-counter painkiller in your first aid kit to help ease the pain of a dental injury. However, do not use aspirin as it is an anticoagulant. This means that if you are bleeding due to a dental injury, aspirin could make it harder for your blood to clot, making the bleeding worse.
If you do not know how to use any of the items in your family dental first aid kit, talk to your dentist and ask him/her to explain everything to you. This ensures that you are always prepared to treat yourself and members of your family in case of a dental injury or emergency.
Contact a dentist to find out more about building a first aid kit.
Call (520) 368-3351 to schedule an appointment with Simply Smiles Dentistry in our Tucson dental office.
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