Accidents happen. Those are really words to live by and they apply to pretty much every situation life can throw at you. This is especially true with a dental emergency. A dental emergency in Ottawa is much more common than you might think because of the some of the more popular activities in our fair city. Two specific activities share more of the blame than others though: skating and hockey. As Canadians we take pride in our national pastime of hockey and Ottawa famously boasts the world’s largest outdoor skating rink. Both of these are points of pride have been the cause of a dental emergency in Ottawa….or several thousand depending on whom you ask.
With all the teeth waiting to be broken or chipped on some ice, it’s a good idea to know what to do in a dental emergency. Here are a few of the more common emergency situations and how to handle them:
- Knocked out tooth – this is a dental emergency than can easily be caused by taking a puck to the mouth or simply slipping on the ice and falling face-first. Keep the tooth moist by putting it in between your cheek and gums or in a glass of milk. Make sure to get to your dentist’s office right away to see if they can save the tooth.
- Chipped or cracked tooth – another very common dental emergency in Ottawa. Save any pieces of the tooth that you can and stop any bleeding with gauze. Then apply a cold compress to keep the swelling down and go see your dentist.
- Soft tissue injury – this happens if you’ve bite your tongue, lip or cheek. Rinse your mouth out first with water and a bit of salt. If there’s bleeding, apply gauze for 10-20 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress and then go see your dentist, but if a dentist isn’t available, go to the emergency room.
- Stuck object in your teeth – those pesky popcorn kernels have been known to cause a dental emergency in Ottawa before. At first try flossing to gently remove the object. If you can’t get it out, go see your dentist and NEVER use a pointed object to try and remove it.
A dental emergency in Ottawa is common enough, but you can limit your exposure to them by following a few simple guidelines:
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports or doing physical activities
- Avoid eating hard foods that could easily chip or damage a tooth
- NEVER use your teeth to open something
- Have the contact info of your dentist available
Stick with these tips and your mouth will thank you.