Are you ready for a dental emergency? Many people have emergency first aid kits around their house and in their car, just in case an unforeseen emergency strikes. However, most of these first aid kits don’t include emergency dental supplies. Dr. Richard Diamond states in his book, Dental First Aid for Families, that “One of the simplest, yet one of the most frequently neglected, items that should be readily available to you in your home is a basic dental first aid kit.”
So what should you put in a dental emergency kit? It’s very easy to throw together, according to Dr. Diamond. Keep reading to see what he recommends having close at hand.
Putting Together Your Kit
A dental first aid kit — in addition to general antibiotics and pain killers — should contain 12 basic items.
- A piece of cotton, such as a cotton ball. This can be used if you have irritation from braces or dentures. For example, if an area of your mouth is irritated, you can use the cotton as a barrier between the infected area and the wire of braces.
- Bees wax (or wax given by orthodontists). Wax is great for covering sharp edges of wires or other orthodontic bands.
- A teabag. Tea bags are great for controlling bleeding after oral surgery. Research suggests that bags containing tea from the plant camellia sinensis is better than herbal tea for this purpose. Tea bags may also be soothing if you bite your lip, cheek, or tongue.
- Orabase or Orabase B – a paste used for healing canker sores or sore mouths.
- Denture adhesive paste. This can be used even if you don’t have dentures. For example, in addition to securing dentures, it can be used to temporarily secure a cap or bridge that has fallen out.
- Temporary filling material. This substance is better than wax and can be used to temporarily replace a filling if one falls out or breaks.
- Toothache drops. These are like eye drops for your teeth, and can be found at your local store. They provide temporary relief from a toothache when applied directly to the tooth.
- Stimudent plaque removers. These tooth picks are specially designed to help remove plaque and foreign objects that may be lodged between your teeth.
- A topical anesthetic containing Benzocaine. This can provide temporary relief for denture sores, gum irritation, cold sores/canker sores/fever blisters, or sores from having bitten your lip, tongue, or cheek.
- Table salt packets. These can be helpful if rinsing is necessary, as salt water helps clean out wounds.
- Clean cloth to use as a compress for bleeding.
- Gauze to wrap a knocked out tooth.
Denture First Aid Kit
If you have dentures, Dr. Diamond recommends having a second kit on hand with the following six items.
- A commercial cleaning powder for dentures.
- Denture adhesive or denture pads.
- Nail polish remover, for removing denture glue.
- A candle, such as a birthday candle, that is close in color to your denture teeth. You can use this to make a fake tooth if one falls out.
- Rubbing alcohol, which can be used to soften the adhesive if it becomes improperly sealed.
- Super glue (or something similar), to be used for binding parts of a broken denture base back together, or replacing a denture tooth that has fallen out.
Each of these items, if not already available in your own home, should be easily found at your local store. To complete the kit, place them in a small container, such as a makeup kit or even a freezer bag. Place the kit somewhere where you will be able to find it easily, such as your bathroom. You may even consider making one to keep in your car, for dental emergencies away from home.
As always, a dentist should be seen for major dental emergencies. An emergency dental kit simply adds convenience for more minor dental emergencies, or for temporary fixes until you can get into a dentist.