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What should you do if you have an unexpected dental emergency and you can’t get to the dental office right away? Dental emergencies, like any other, can be a cause of anxiety and worry because it is unexpected. At Dr. Gaff’s dental office in Jacksonville, Florida, we want you to be prepared as proper care can help prevent an injury from worsening unnecessarily.

The first and most important thing is to stay calm so you can take the steps necessary for the preservation of your pearly whites. The second most important thing you can do is to get to your dental professional as soon as possible.

Three of the most common dental emergencies that can arise include:

A toothache
If you have a persistent toothache or one that steadily increases in pain you will need to be seen by our dentist, even if the pain doesn’t worsen. Pain means something is happening that shouldn’t be. Until your appointment, you can keep the affected area clean with a cotton swab or a soft toothbrush. Keep it disinfected rinsing with salt water can also soothe it as well. To manage the pain you may want to take acetaminophen until Dr. Gaff can see you.

A loose tooth
If your tooth is wiggly and not sitting properly in its place, you may be able to position it gently in the proper place to prevent it from being knocked around and becoming looser. You can help it remain in place if you surround it with moistened gauze to hold it steady until you can come in.

Knocked-out teeth
If you have a tooth that has fallen out due to some kind of trauma, you can still save it if you are seen by a dental professional within the first hour. If it happens during office hours we will get you in as quickly as possible, and if you cannot come in please go to your closest emergency room for immediate treatment. While transporting your tooth, safeguard it by placing it in milk or saliva in a plastic sealed bag, or even a cup. Milk is helpful for the tooth, and your saliva has protective enzymes that help destroy bacteria. The sooner you see a professional the more likely your tooth can be saved.

We recommend the following: staying calm, doing what you can to protect your teeth, and coming in to our office as soon as possible to be seen by Dr. Gaff. Call our office today at 904-641-2655 if you have any questions about dental emergencies and let us help you keep your healthy smile!