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I’m sure you’ve got a first aid kit ready for emergencies. We all know to have bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic, etc. on hand. If you get a scratch or a blister, you’ll probably be fine. But what if you crack a tooth or get an abscess or toothache? What if you have a filling fall out or a crown come off? Did you remember to get together an emergency kit for dental problems? We are all so used to just going to the dentist whenever there’s any kind of a problem, but in an emergency situation there may not be a dentist to go to — either temporarily or more long-term.

Let’s take a look at some basic items you should consider having on hand.

• Dental floss – Floss is useful for getting things out from between your teeth, and hopefully you use it regularly to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
• Dental mirror – This object is useful for looking at the tricky-to-see areas of your mouth.
• Small flashlight – Because the mouth is a dark cavern, you need something that will help you see inside.
• Clove oil (eugenol) – This is a topical antiseptic and analgesic that can help eliminate or reduce tooth pain.
Oregano oil – This oil can also be used for pain. (It has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties.) However, it can be too strong, so it may need to be diluted with a carrier oil before use.
• Syringe – This is used to apply clover or oregano oil inside the painful tooth cavity or around sore teeth. A syringe can also be filled with warm water and used to rinse the mouth out to help eliminate bits of food.
• Ambosol or Orajel – These are both benzocaine products and work on contact to reduce pain.
• Temporary fillings – These can be bought at drug stores to provide temporary protection for a lost filling or crown.
• Orthodontic wax – Wax can be used to pack the tooth and also to protect the mouth when wearing braces.
• Dental probe – A probe is used for packing filler material in the tooth.
• Q-tips or cotton balls – You can use these to dry the tooth before applying the filler material.

Some dental situations can be tricky to navigate, so it would be best to have some detailed instructions, either by having a book or at least a few pages printed out about treating dental emergencies on your own.

If the emergency is short-lived and you can get to a dentist soon, you should. Your dentist can give you a better, more permanent solution. But if the emergency means that you might not get to a dentist for quite a while (if ever), then you should know how to manage your tooth care.

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