It’s the day of the year when people come together to celebrate their Irish descent. Towns go green, literally- from green clothes to green rivers and even green food and beverages. The ironic part is that most of the people celebrating aren’t even Irish and don’t even know who St. Patrick was, (Click here to learn about St. Patrick) but that doesn’t stop people from being “Irish for the day.” It is, after all, a really fun holiday.
According to CNBC, emergency dental visits skyrocket by 77% the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The information was gleaned from analysis from Sikka Software, which found that March 18 is consistently one of the busiest 10 days of the year for dentist. It goes without saying that alcohol plays a large role in this spike, with bar fights and face plants being responsible for many of the chipped or missing teeth cases that dentist will see. Apparently, some people take the term “fighting Irish” a bit too far.
Luckily for Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, most of our patients won’t be involved in the more extreme St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans. However, we thought it was a great time to review what to do if your luck runs out and you find yourself facing a dental emergency. Remember, sometimes the tooth can be saved if handled appropriately.
We encourage you to become familiar with the information below so that you will know what to do if you find yourself faced with a dental trauma.
If a tooth is knocked out:
1) Pick the tooth up by the crown (the part you bite with) and DO NOT touch the root (the two little legs that go in the gums).
2) Adults and older children that have knocked out a permanent tooth, gently rinse it in clean water and place it back in the socket the right way. Apply gauze and pressure to hold it in place until getting to the dentist office.
If you are unsure of the proper placement, you can place the tooth in your cheek and hold it there until getting to the dentist office. The saliva will clean the root and keep it moist.
For small children and baby teeth, do not place the tooth back in the socket. This can damage the permanent tooth below. Since most small children cannot hold the tooth in their cheek without swallowing it, placing it in a container of milk and heading to the dentist office is the best option. Make sure to bring the tooth with you. (If the parent is comfortable doing so, he or she can place it in his/her own cheek to keep it moist and in saliva.)
Remember, we want to keep the tooth moist. Saliva is the best option, followed by milk. Do not wrap the tooth in a napkin and allow it to dry.
3) Call our office and let us know you are on the way! You need to see the dentist as soon as possible for the best chance at saving the tooth.
What to do if a tooth is chipped:
If a tooth is chipped, try to find any pieces that have come off, as sometimes it’s possible to reattach them. Make an appointment for an office visit as soon as possible and bring the pieces with you.
Anytime there is a severe injury, loss of consciousness or uncontrollable bleeding, seek help immediately from the Emergency Room. For less traumatic injuries, call our office at 864-760-1440 to schedule a time to be seen as soon as possible. Often, a quick phone conversation can help us to determine the next step. Cheers!