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DENTAL EMERGENCIES, FIRST AID,
AND SAFETY RULES

FIRST AID:

TOOTHACHE
CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP, OR CHEEK
KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH
BROKEN TOOTH
BROKEN BRACES AND WIRES

OTHER EMERGENCIES:

BROKEN JAW
BLEEDING AFTER BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT
COLD/CANKER SORES

BASIC SAFETY RULES


FIRST AID

TOOTHACHE

  • Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly
  • Rinse vigorously with warm water
  • Use dental floss to get out trapped food or debris
  • Apply cold compresses against outside of cheek if swelling occurs
  • DO NOT place aspirin on aching tooth or gum
  • Take child to the dentist as soon as posssible

CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP, OR CHEEK

  • Bruise or Swelling - apply ice to area
  • Bleeding - apply firm but gentle pressure with gauze or clean cloth
  • If bleeding persists - take child to hospital emergency room

KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH

  • Find the tooth - If soiled, rinse gently with water - do not scrub or remove any attached gum tissue
  • Handle the tooth only by the crown and not the root
  • Inspect tooth for sharp broken edges - if sound, reinsert into socket and hold in with gauze
  • If unable to reinsert, place toothe in cold milk, cool water, saline solution or saliva (tooth may be carried in the child's mouth)
  • Go to the dentist IMMEDIATELY!

    Knocked-out teeth have a 90% success rate if replaced in 15-30 minutes. So act quickly!

BROKEN TOOTH

  • Rinse mouth with warm water
  • Apply cold compress against outside of cheek if swelling occurs
  • Save broken tooth pieces and take them with you to the dentist immediately

BROKEN BRACES AND WIRES

  • If broken, appliance can be removed - EASILY take it out
  • If unable to remove - cover sharp or protruding wires with cotton, gauze or soft chewing gum
  • If wire is stuck into gum, cheek or tongue - do not remove - IMMEDIATELY go to the dentist/orthodontist

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OTHER EMERGENCIES

BROKEN JAW

  • Keep the jaw in place - fasten a towel, scarf, tie, etc. around the jaw and over the top of the head
  • Go immediately to the hospital emergency room

BLEEDING AFTER BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT

  • Apply gentle, firm pressure on the bleeding gum with folded gauze or clean cloth
  • See a dentist if bleeding persists

COLD/CANKER SORES

  • Over-the-counter preparations may give relief
  • Many serious diseases begin as sores. It is important to have a dental or medical visit if these sores persist

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KEEP YOUR TEETH SAFE

Many childhood activities can result in an accidental injury to the mouth

SAFETY RULES:

  • Always wear a helmet when bike riding, skating, skateboarding, rollerblading
  • Do not push or play around the water fountain
  • Always wear a seat belt when riding in moving vehicles
  • Always wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports - football, hockey, wrestling, basketball, baseball, soccer, martial arts
  • Always use handrails when walking on a stairway
  • Always walk slowly around pools, puddles, ponds
  • Never put foreign objects (pencils, pens, nails) in your mouth

TEETH CAN LAST A LIFETIME WITH PROPER CARE!

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Please call 9-1-1 if this is a medical emergency. Please call San Francisco General Hospital at (415) 206-8000 for general information.


For issues or questions other than medically related, you may email the Department of Public Health.