How To Prepare For A Dental Emergency


While some dental emergencies are more common than others, they’re usually unpredictable, happening unexpectedly. You might need immediate dental attention, whether because of an infection, a knocked-out tooth, or severe tooth or jaw pain from an unexpected trauma. There are many reasons you can wind up needing emergency dental care, and most people don’t know how to properly respond to a dental emergency. 

Save yourself some pain and trouble, and have a solid preparation plan for whenever a dental disaster might strike. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a dental emergency:

What To Do 

Create a Dental Emergency Kit 

Think of it as a first aid kid but for dental emergencies. While a first aid kit might have a few things you could use, there won’t be nearly enough to help your fractured tooth or bleeding gums. You can purchase a dental kit with all of the supplies you’ll need, or you can put one together yourself.

An emergency dental kit should include the following:

  • Latex gloves
  • Orajel or clove oil
  • Gauze pads, cotton balls, and cotton swabs 
  • Ice pack
  • Pain medication 
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste
  • Soft wax
  • Dental floss
  • Toothpicks
  • Mouthwash 
  • Salt
  • Tweezers

Know What To Do/Talk To Your Dentist 

There are specific ways to treat each type of dental emergency. Your best course of action is to know what to do when emergencies occur. For example, if you’re dealing with a severely painful toothache, you can place a cold compress on your face and drink cold water before arriving at the dentist’s office. 

If you have a fractured, cracked, or chipped tooth, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack to control pain and inflammation. You can utilize something temporary, such as toothpaste or soft wax to keep the cracked tooth safe until you can see a dentist. 

If a tooth gets knocked out, you’ll want to pick it up by the crown instead of the root. When this dental emergency occurs, you’re going to want to act quickly. If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it with saline solution if available or use the saliva of the person that lost the tooth.   You will then have to try your best to insert the tooth back into the socket. We know. It doesn’t sound fun, but it’s only temporary until you see your chosen emergency dentist.  

Soft tissue injuries such as biting your tongue or cheek can be cleaned with a saltwater rinse. To stop the bleeding, use a cold compress and some gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should see a dentist as soon as possible because you may need stitches. 

Sometimes an object can get wedged and stuck between your teeth. If it’s causing a lot of mouth pain and discomfort, you can try removing it carefully. Avoid using sharp instruments on your teeth; use dental floss or a toothpick instead. Contact your dentist if the object cannot be removed. 

Dental Insurance 

Having dental insurance can reduce the stress associated with the cost of emergency dental care. Your insurance should cover a portion of the cost and help reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The good news is that your dentist will have your insurance information in the system so that the dental emergency can be dealt with as soon as you arrive. Always double-check that your emergency dentist accepts your dental coverage to avoid any issues. 

Find an Emergency Dentist 

Look for a qualified emergency dentist that works in a clinic with flexible emergency hours. The last thing you want is to walk into an office without an appointment and have to wait for hours in the waiting room with an excruciatingly painful infection or dental emergency

To make things easier, choose that specific emergency dentist as your new go-to dentist. You’ll benefit from some of their other services, such as teeth cleanings, examinations, fillings, and other treatments. 

If you’d like to make an appointment with one of our dentists, or learn more about what to do about an unexpected dental emergency, visit Our team is always happy to provide the individualized care that you need, and we offer an array of helpful services to get you smiling again.