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Self help advice

The following is a brief guidance on what you can do to help yourself until you can obtain some professional advice:-

Pain

  • If you are able to, take ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve the pain, making sure you do not exceed the stated daily amount on the packet. If not, then use pain killers that have previously provided pain relief for you, without any adverse effects. Please make sure you check the information sheet, found in the packet of the painkillers, for advice on precautions in some medical conditions
  • Avoid stimuli that make the pain worse, such as hot foods or cold air
  • Holding cool water around the tooth can sometimes help relieve dental pain.

Dental Trauma

This depends on the nature of the injury.

  • Where a tooth has fractured and the inside of the tooth is exposed, causing pain especially with hot and cold, you must seek an appointment as soon as possible to prevent infection
  • Where an adult tooth has been knocked completely out – hold the tooth only by the crown (the part you can normally see in your mouth) and place it in a glass of milk. You must see a dentist as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes, to have the tooth replaced, if you have not managed to replace it yourself
  • Where a baby tooth has been knocked out completely – DO NOT replace the tooth but make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible in case there is trauma to a permanent tooth as well. 

Bleeding after an Extraction (a tooth removed)

  • Blood stained saliva is normal after an extraction. Make a small pad with a clean cotton handkerchief and dampen it slightly with water
  • Rinse the mouth once only with warm (not hot) water to get rid of the blood
  • Place the damp pad over the socket area and bite firmly. If there are no opposing teeth, then press firmly onto the pad. Maintain this for 20 minutes while sitting quietly upright
  • After the bleeding has stopped, remain rested and as upright as possible
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Do not disturb the blood clot in the socket
  • Contact a dentist as soon as possible if this fails to stop the bleeding. 

Interdental Cleaning

Interdental cleaning refers to cleaning between the teeth. Interdental cleaning is extremely important, these areas are particularly vulnerable to food and plaque stagnation, and if not effectively cleaned can lead to tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath) and periodontal problems. Tooth brushing alone will not clean effectively between your teeth.

Denture Cleaning

  • There are different types of dentures, acrylic or plastic style with or without clasps or metal dentures.
  • Like your natural teeth dentures should be cleaned twice a day and after eating when necessary. This will ensure they are kept as clean as possible and reduce the risk of gums becoming sore or inflamed.
  • It is recommended you clean your acrylic or plastic style dentures over a bowel of water or something soft encase you drop them to prevent damage.
  • There are many cleaning products on the market but acrylic or plastic style dentures can be cleaned using a soft small to medium size brush and simple plain soap.
  • Regular toothpaste should be avoided as it is abrasive and can scratch the acrylic or plastic style dentures. This will then allow the denture to take on stain more easily.
  • Some soaking solutions available help remove staining and bacteria.
  • If you choose to use some of the specialist products available you should use them carefully and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Bleaching products should be avoided as it causes the acrylic or plastic style denture to become weak and remove the colour in the acrylic.
  • Hot or boiling water should also be avoided as it causes the acrylic or plastic style denture to become weak and brittle.
  • If your denture has clasps, you need to take particular care when cleaning to avoid damage.
  • It is still important to see your dentist regularly for examinations even if you don’t have any natural teeth. Your dentist will check the soft parts of your mouth such as the gums, tongue and cheeks to ensure they are healthy. It allows the dentist to spot any infections, mouth conditions or even mouth cancer at the earliest stage or give you advice on cleaning. 
     
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