Everyone should have at least the first aid basics on hand. If you drive a lot, keep it in your car. If you walk a lot, keep it in your bag. You never know when a little antiseptic and a band aid might save a lot of trouble.
But have you ever thought about keeping a dental first aid kit handy? It’s unlikely that any of us will become stranded on a desert island with a rotten tooth like in the movie Cast Away, forced to resort to an ice skate for relief. But you never know when a tooth issue might arise, and if you travel a lot, a dental first aid kit can be your key to survival.
Just what are the “basics” when it comes to dental emergencies? Say you’re watching your kid at softball practice when someone is hit in the mouth with a fly ball. You’ll be the one prepared if you’ve got the following on hand.
You might find the supplies very similar to the average first aid kit: gauze, a cold pack, tweezers. But you’ve got to add a few things that make this kit convenient for tooth problems. Include dental floss, cotton balls, and a dental mirror. You can find a cheap dental mirror at your local drugstore. For an example of the dental first aid basics, check out this Red Cross kit at CVS.com. Remember, you need floss, gauze, cotton balls, a cold pack, tweezers, and a dental mirror.
Now that you’ve gathered the basics, it’s time to think about pain relief. What if you’re on the go and your tooth suddenly erupts with pain? You need more than just some floss to deal with pain inside a tooth. The best place to start is with over-the-counter pain relievers. WebMD has an extensive list of such pain relief, like Aleve Oral, Orajel, and the like. When you aren’t at home (or near a dentist!), the best way to deal with a sudden toothache is to pop some pain relief, or rub it on, so that you can keep going until you can make it to a dentist.
Finally, you want something to deal with the inconvenience of loose hardware—braces breaking free from the tooth, an old filling popping out, even a tooth cracking or mysteriously falling out. You can actually buy dental first aid kits with temporary filling supplies like this one from DenTek. But you’ll want more than just the temporary filling. You should also pack petroleum jelly and dental wax, both affordably offered at any drugstore. The wax will create a buffer between your cheeks and a jagged tooth (or wire brace), and the jelly will create a temporary barrier between an injury and the rest of your mouth.
What do you have in your dental first aid kit?
On top of the basics, pain relief, and temporary fixes for damaged hardware, a good thing to have on hand is a DIY dental guide, such as this guide for a temporary filling on eHow.com. You might want to have some internet guides printed out and stashed in your kit. You never know what can happen in a day—it’s better to stay prepared.
Do you have everything we’ve mentioned in your dental first aid kit? Perhaps you bought one ready-made rather than collecting items yourself. Have you ever had to use it and found something missing? We want to hear what supplies are most needed in a real emergency. Leave a comment below so our readers can learn from real life!