Sometimes, dental emergencies are unavoidable. It’s good to know what to do if you or a family member has an unexpected dental emergency.
All Three Doctors are On Call, 24 Hours a Day if You Need Help
During business hours: Simply call our main office phone number (419) 885-1115 and we’ll arrange for you to see a doctor right away.
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After business hours: Call the same phone number, (419) 885-1115, and you’ll hear instructions on how to contact Dr. Urbanik, Dr. Barricklow or Dr. Schultz directly.
Here are some tips for what to do for a variety of dental emergencies:
If a tooth comes out
Hold the tooth by the crown (the top part) and rinse off any dirt, if possible. As soon as you can, place the tooth back into the socket. Hold the tooth there to help stabilize it. If you are unable to place the tooth back into the socket, put it in a small glass of milk. Contact our office as soon as possible. It’s best to see us within an hour of the injury.
If a portion of a tooth breaks off
Place the broken piece of tooth in a small glass of milk and contact our office.
If a tooth is pushed backward or forward in the mouth
Try to push the tooth back into the normal position. Contact our office as soon as possible.
It’s normal to feel discomfort for three to five days after your braces or retainers have been adjusted. This can make eating difficult. Try sticking to soft foods at first. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help.
If a bracket is knocked off
Brackets are attached to the teeth with a special adhesive, but they can unexpectedly come loose as a result of physical contact from sports, or even roughhousing. They can also become loose after chewing hard or sticky foods.
If a bracket has detached and moves along the wire, it’s a sign that the adhesive has failed. Please call our office for an appointment.
If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is now sticking out, try to turn it back to its normal position. Give us a call to have it reattached.
If you are in pain, please let us know right away. If you’re not in pain, the matter is less urgent. Please call our office to schedule an appointment to reattach the bracket.
If the archwire is poking
If the end of the orthodontic archwire is poking the back of your mouth, try to put dental wax over the area to protect the cheek. If you’re still uncomfortable, give us a call for an appointment to have the wire clipped.
If one of the small ligature wires is poking your lip of cheek
Use a Q-Tip or pencil eraser to push the wire back so it lays flat against the tooth. If the wire can’t be moved to a comfortable position, cover it with dental wax. Call us and tell us about the problem.
If any pieces fall off
Hang onto the pieces. Give us a call. Bring the pieces in with you for the repair.
If your lips or cheeks are irritated by your braces
A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between braces, lips, cheeks and your tongue. If possible, dry the affected area first. Pinch off a small piece of wax and roll it into the size of a small pea. Then, flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing the irritation. If the wax is accidentally swallowed, it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.
If you develop mouth sores
Patients who develop mouth sores during orthodontic treatment may find relief by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) to the affected area with a cotton swab.
If your lip gets caught on your braces
Apply ice to the affected area. Call our office. We’ll see you as soon as possible.
If you can’t open your mouth
The difficulty could be caused by problems with the lower jaw joint or by swelling around the soft tissues of the mouth. Call and tell us about your symptoms.
If food gets caught between your teeth
While not a dental emergency, this can be aggravating. Dental floss may be your best solution. Sometimes tying a small knot in the middle of the floss can help remove the food, or an interproximal brush (available at any drugstore) might be just what you need.