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Fact Sheets

Dealing with dental emergencies.

Tips on how to keep cool in the event of a dental accident.

Most dental accidents and emergencies occur during the childhood years. Among young children, ages two to ten, falls account for most dental injuries while lack of preventive measures during sports activities cause most dental accidents among older children and teenagers. The most important lesson on handling a dental emergency is to see a dentist as soon as possible (time is really of the essence!).

Here are some tips and precautions in case of a dental emergency:


Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water to flush debris. Use dental floss to remove any food trapped between teeth. If you require an analgesic, take one with water, but do not place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum. This can cause tissue damage. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked out tooth
If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in cool running water. Don't scrub it, Gently replace the tooth in its socket within 5 minutes and hold it in place. If this doesn't work, put the tooth under the tongue or in a container of saline (salt water). Go immediately to your dentist, who may be able to re-implant the tooth.

Bitten tongue or lip
Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. If there is swelling, apply cold compresses. If bleeding does not stop, go immediately to a hospital emergency room or call your dentist or physician.

Objects wedged between your teeth
Try to remove the object with dental floss, guiding the floss carefully to avoid cutting the gum. If you're unsuccessful, go to your dentist. Don't try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.

Traumatically Broken tooth
Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water. Use cold compresses to minimize swelling, and go to the dentist at once.

If you're still not sure what to do in a dental emergency, talk to your dentist. We care about you and your teeth.

This information courtesy of your Manitoba Dentist.