Knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Reviewing these tips before an accident occurs can help you remain calm and handle an emergency effectively.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, hold the tooth by the crown, and gently rinse off the root of the tooth in water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently reinsert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk or any emergency tooth preservation product that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. The sooner you can do any of these things the better because it helps keep the small attachment fibers on the root of the tooth alive. Then get to your dentist as quickly as possible, within an hour if you can. Don’t forget to take the tooth with you!

Broken Tooth

Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put cold compresses on the face to reduce swelling. Go to a dentist immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw

Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your dentist or hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught Between Teeth

Gently try to remove the object with dental floss and gargle with warm salt water. If you’re not successful, go to your dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.


Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be trapped between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. See a dentist as soon as possible.

Bitten Tongue Or Lip

Clean the area gently with a cloth, and put cold compresses to keep swelling down. If bleeding is excessive or doesn’t stop in a short period of time, go to a dentist or hospital emergency room.

Dental Emergency While Traveling
Look in “Yellow Pages” or check online under “dentist” to find the state or local dental society phone number to get a referral.
Ask the hospital emergency room to recommend a dentist.
Ask hotel personnel to refer you to a dentist.
If you are out of the country, contact the U.S Embassy or ask hotel personnel to refer you to a dentist.