The best way to prevent a dental emergency is to avoid them from happening in the first place. There are some steps to reduce risk of dental emergencies such as:
• Use scissors, never your teeth to cut things.
• Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candies
• Finally, wear a protective mouthguard when participating in recreational activities or sports. Your dentist can create a mouthguard that is custom to your mouth and can avoid dental injury.
If an entire adult tooth is knocked out clean any debris on the tooth. Rinse the root with water. Once the tooth is clean you can place the tooth back in the socket. Use your thumb and forefinger to place the tooth back in the socket and maintain pressure for about 5 minutes with a hand or wad of wet tissue paper. It is extremely important that the tooth is replanted within the first 5-10 minutes after it is knocked out. If no one is willing to place the tooth back in the socket or if damage to the socket or tooth is substantial, it is important to control bleeding with pressure and keep the tooth in a liquid such as milk to keep it from drying. Call the dentist immediately.
For cases were a tooth is shifted laterally (to the side) or intruded (pushed into the socket) no immediate treatment is needed on the scene of the dental accident, however contact a dentist immediately. For teeth that are fractured or broken keep the broken pieces to a dental office in water and milk. In these cases, the nerve may be exposed causing sensitivity to cold and heat. Over the counter pain medications should be used and it is important to call a dentist as soon as possible.