• May 18, 2021
guide on what to do during a dental emergency

We hope you never have a dental emergency or anyone in your family. We also hope none of your friends have to go through emergency.

Nevertheless, there is a decent chance that someone you know will have a dental emergency at one time or another.

In case that does happen, we encourage you to be prepared.

One of the first things you can do is simple. Add our phone number — 815-725-5991 — to the contacts in your phone. This way you won’t have to hunt down the number for our Shorewood dental practice, when you really need it.

Our team at SFDC does everything we can to get you emergency dental services on the same day as your dental emergency. We know these situations can be scary, and we want to alleviate your pain as soon as possible.

At the same time, we want you to be ready to act to help yourself or someone you care about.

Put Together A Dental First Aid Kit

You probably already have a first aid kit somewhere in your home, your office, or your vehicle. You may even have multiple kits in multiple places.

That’s a good thing. Some of those items can be useful during a dental emergency, too. In addition, here are some specific things you may want to keep in or add to your tooth repair kit.

Vinyl Gloves

Many dental emergencies involve blood. It’s important to protect yourself when caring for someone else. Putting on gloves creates a barrier for your skin.


Gauze can be helpful for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it can be used to soak up blood in someone’s mouth. Blood is common with broken teeth or when teeth have been knocked out.

Gauze also can be used to cover a broken tooth until that person can see one of our dentists. Broken teeth can be sharp. This can lead to accidental cuts on the soft tissues of the patient’s mouth.

Dental Wax

Dental wax can be used to cover a broken tooth as well. It also can be useful in dealing with braces that have broken and bent wires. By placing wax on the broken ends of the wires, you will be reducing the risk of an accidental cut or poke.

Dental Cement

If someone has a loose crown or bridge, this can provide temporary help. The cement can help keep the crown or bridge in place until you are able to get to our dentist office.

Cold Pack

If ice is not available, an instant cold pack can help reduce swelling and pain from a traumatic dental or facial injury.

Dental Floss

Flossing is essential in keeping teeth healthy. Dental floss can be helpful if you are experiencing pain. It’s possible something may be stuck between your teeth and gums. Using dental floss, you may be able to remove it and alleviate your pain.

Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

A pain reliever may be useful as well for controlling the pain temporarily. These should be taken as directed.

Do NOT hold aspirin against the soft tissues of your mouth, however. This can cause a chemical burn that will only add to the problems you are dealing with.

Emergency Care Cards

This is something you can make yourself. Get some index cards and add some simple directions for what to do in different kinds of dental emergencies, such as:

–  Broken tooth. Find the pieces if possible. Rinse out the patient’s mouth. Use gauze to soak up blood, stop the bleeding. Cover the tooth with gauze or dental wax. Take a pain reliever or use a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling.

–  Missing tooth. Find the tooth. Rinse it and the patient’s mouth. Use gauze to soak up blood, stop the bleeding. Try to place the tooth back in its socket. If it stays, leave it there. If not, place the tooth in a container of milk until you see the dentist. Use a pain reliever or cold pack if needed.

–  Broken braces. Rinse the patient’s mouth. Cover broken wire ends with dental wax. Use a pencil eraser to gently press the wire against the patient’s teeth. Use a pain reliever or cold pack if needed.

And you can call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-725-5991 if you aren’t sure if you are having a dental emergency. We want to help however we can.