How To Plan for a Dental Emergency During the Holidays

Cartoon of a tooth driving an ambulance.

Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

The last thing you want to experience during the holidays is a dental emergency — but if one happens, we want you to be prepared to handle it. Here’s Gastonia Family Dentistry’s advice on how to plan for a dental emergency during the holidays.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

It’s first necessary to define what a dental emergency is so you know if you’re actually experiencing one! Here's a list of the most common dental emergencies.

  • Chipped, cracked, or dislodged teeth
  • Swelling and pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Broken dental device or restoration
  • Issues after a dental procedure
  • Abscess in mouth
  • Jaw pain
  • Lost or broken filling

The first rule to handling a dental emergency is this - don’t panic! It’s easier said than done, but know that there are things you can do to find relief. Even if you aren’t sure if what you’re going through is a dental emergency, contact your dentist right away for advice.

Preventing Dental Injuries

Some dental emergencies can be prevented with a little extra care during the holidays. For example, holiday goody trays are often piled with potential dental disasters: gooey caramel popcorn balls with hidden unpopped kernels, crusty bread alongside dips, hard candy and nuts hidden in chocolate. Approach these hazards with caution! Cracked teeth, lost fillings, and broken dental prostheses often are a result of eating the wrong thing.

In some cases, the alcohol flows freely at holiday parties. Unfortunately, falls are another common cause of cracked or knocked-out teeth. So drink responsibly during the holidays and be extra careful on slippery sidewalks or driveways.

Handling a Dental Emergency

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, call a dentist who accepts emergency appointments as soon as you can. Gastonia Family Dentistry offers emergency dental appointments. We will do our best to accommodate you as soon as we can.

There are a few things you can do before you reach your dentist’s office depending on your emergency, too. For swelling or pain, try to ice your cheeks with a pack of frozen vegetables for 10 minutes at a time to help reduce inflammation. If you’ve knocked out a tooth, try rinsing it (without scrubbing) and putting it back into the tooth socket. If that isn't possible, keep it moist with saliva or milk so it won't dry out before you reach your dentist. Sometimes we are able to reattach the tooth if the patient gets to us quickly!

Affordable Emergency Dentistry in Gastonia, NC

If you or a loved one is experiencing a dental emergency, it’s important to get the care you need, even if you are worried about the expense. Avoiding seeing a dentist can cause more complications and have even more expensive ramifications down the line. At Gastonia Family Dentistry, we offer our patients many financing options to make paying for treatment more budget-friendly. Don’t go through a dental emergency alone this holiday season.


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