A dental emergency can happen at any time. Would you know what do about a loose wire on your teenager’s braces, or if someone were to fall and knock out a tooth?

Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of what to do in a dental emergency.

Q1) True or false – If a wire from your teen’s braces comes loose, you should carefully trim away the protruding wire with a pair of sterilized wire cutters.

Q2) True or false – At the onset of a toothache, carefully rinse and floss the affected area.

Q3) True or false – Dab hydrogen peroxide on a bitten, bleeding lip to clean away bacteria.

Q4) True or false – If a tooth is knocked out and you find it, handle the tooth by the crown, not the root.

Q5) True or false- For a possible broken jaw, ensure the mouth remains open.

Answers

Q1) False. The soft tissues of the mouth should be protected, but not by trimming away a loose, protruding wire. Instead, place a cotton ball, beeswax, dental wax, or a piece of sterile gauze on the end of the wire until the orthodontist can fix the problem.

Q2) True. In cases of toothache, food particles should be washed from the area. Carefully rinse your mouth, and then floss to remove any food debris lodged between teeth. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Q3) False. For a bitten lip or tongue, apply direct pressure with a cold, clean cloth. If bleeding lasts for longer than 15 minutes, head to your local emergency room.

Q4) True. If you find the knocked out, or avulsed, tooth, avoid handling it by the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it carefully and gently, leaving any tissue attached. Place the knocked out tooth in a cup of milk or cool water to preserve it. If you have trouble locating the tooth, carefully check the area of the mouth where the tooth should be. In an accident, a tooth can be driven into the mouth’s soft tissues.

Time is critical in saving an avulsed tooth. Call us for an emergency dental appointment, and try to get treatment within 30 minutes of the injury.

Q5) False. If possible, it’s best to close the mouth and check for proper alignment of upper teeth to lower teeth. Watch for muscle spasms. Apply a cold compress to the injured side. If the teeth don’t align, if swelling occurs, or if muscle spam is present, immobilize the jaw. Tie a handkerchief, Ace bandage, or towel over the top of the head and around the chin. Proceed immediately to the emergency room.

For restorative dentistry or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Corbet Locke, call our Waco dental office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding 76712 communities.