Losing a tooth is no laughing matter – especially if it’s a permanent adult one. We generally try to be as careful as possible when going about our daily routine (no one likes tumbling headfirst down the subway stairs), but let’s face it; accidents happen. Whether you’re on vacation in beautiful Cocoa Beach, or a permanent resident, all it takes is one rushing commuter or a hastily-stacked pile of books, and bam! Suddenly you’re one tooth short of a full set and a visit to Dr. Vevera is minutes away.

In situations like this, the standard don’t panic! rule applies. Just as with regular emergency medical aid, anyone can administer basic emergency care as a stop-gap solution while waiting to see your emergency dentist in Cocoa Beach.

Whether the tooth is chipped, broken, or completely knocked out, Dentists are more than capable of fixing what needs to be fixed. But if you want to salvage the tooth or minimize the damage, it’s best to learn a bit of DIY dentistry care for the next time you get into a bar fight or faceplant straight into linoleum tiles.

KNOCKED-OUT TEETH

Adult Teeth/Permanent Teeth: For teeth that have already set in, it’s important to keep the tooth moist. If you can put the tooth back into the socket without letting it touch the root, do so. Otherwise, try keeping it soaking in a glass of milk. If you don’t have any dairy handy, the inside of your mouth – right between the inside of your cheek and gums – will do nicely.

Baby Teeth: The good thing about baby teeth (or milk teeth) is that they’re going to fall out anyway. But it’s still better to get your dentist’s opinion. Keep the tooth moist – just like you would a permanent tooth – and bring your child to the dentist. They can then decide whether to implant the tooth again or (if just a part came out) remove the whole tooth.

CRACKED/CHIPPED TEETH

If you accidentally crack or chip your tooth, the most important thing to remember is counter any swelling that might happen. Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to thoroughly clean the area. And then apply a cold compress or ice pack to the side of the mouth with the cracked tooth the keep the swelling down. See your dentist for treatment as soon as possible.

TOOTHACHE

Perhaps the most frustrating – and painful – tooth injury one can have is a toothache. While there are many quick-fix suggestions out there that involve the application of aspirin directly on the tooth, many dentists advise against doing this. The acidity of the aspirin may burn your sensitive gum tissue. What they recommend more is gently cleaning your mouth by thoroughly rinsing with warm water. You can then use dental floss to remove any food particles stuck between the teeth. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

Overall, it’s important to remember that these are bandaid solutions to fairly serious tooth injuries. These emergency dental care steps are simply to give you the option of minimizing injury and speeding up healing process while a licensed professional is not present. Whether you chip a tooth or you lose it entirely, it’s still best to contact your dentist as soon as you can!