10 items you should have to deal with a dental emergency

  1. Hand sanitizer:  Before putting your hand in your own mouth, sanitize them!
  2. Aspirin/Ibuprofen:  These are both pain relievers and anti-inflammatory.   It’s better, if you’re able to use these than Tylenol for dental pain and/or swelling.
  3. A Broad Spectrum Antibiotic such as Amoxicillin, Cephalosporin or Azithromycin (Z-pack).  These should be reserved for swelling and or fever and ideally, a healthcare professional should be contacted prior to taking any antibiotic.
  4. Temporary cement or filling material:  There are several such kits available in drug stores.   Please avoid using denture adhesives as a cement.   They don’t work well and they can actually promote decay.  Never use industrial-type glue to cement a cap or crown.
  5. Orthodontic wax or gum:  These can be used to cover a sharp edge so you don’t irritate your tongue.  It can even be placed in a hole, where a filling might have come out.  You can even use candle wax as a short-term fix.
  6. Orabase/ Zilactin.   This is an ‘oral bandage’.   It’s a paste that, when put on top of a sore, covers it.   I’d opt for the one with a numbing agent in it.   It can help give you relief during eating, if you put it on prior to a meal.
  7. Floss and an interproximal cleaning device.  Of course you should be flossing every day but when you get something stuck between your teeth, it can become a real problem.   Sometimes floss isn’t effective and something like a ‘stimudent’ or proxi-brush may be needed to dislodge the obstruction.
  8. Topical Anesthetic.   Available in drug stores, Anbesol and others can be helpful for temporary relief from gum pain and denture-related sores and irritations.  These might not help a toothache but Eugenol, oil of cloves might.
  9. Gauze or tea bags.   These can be helpful in stopping bleeding.   They help put pressure on the area and tea has ‘tannins’ that help promote clotting.
  10. Crazy Glue:  I’m not a fan of people trying to repair their own prostheses.   More problems can result than it’s worth.   But, if a front tooth comes off a denture, ‘Crazy’ glue might be appropriate for a short-term, cosmetic fix.   You just don’t want to walk around with a tooth glued to your finger or your forehead so be careful and trust most repairs to a professional.

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