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How to handle at-home dental emergencies
Updated: 2/11/2011 7:00:08 PM

Tips for handling and preventing dental emergencies Like many medical problems, dental emergencies can be spur-of-the-moment, making knowledge of dental first-aid tactics an important resource for any individual to have.

Dr. Louis Amendola recently discussed the do’s and don’ts for treating a dental emergency on the spot.

If a tooth becomes dislodged due to a fall or sports accident, Amendola noted that responding rapidly can save the tooth, so it can be re-implanted by a professional within two hours. “Don’t let the tooth dry out,” Amendola said, and see a dentist immediately. Loose teeth should only be handled by the crown and rinsed in water or sterile saline, but do not try to clean anything off the tooth, recommended Amendola.

However, most dentists recognize that prevention is the best way to avoid a dental emergency, especially when children are involved in sports. Many sports that involve contact require kids to wear mouth guards. Athletes can choose from three different varieties of mouth protection, including stock, boil-and-bite and custom-fitted mouth guards.

A study that tested the effectiveness of mouth guards in preventing sport-related injuries found that the risk of injury increased between 1.6 and 1.9 percent when mouth guards were not worn, according to the American Dental Association.

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