Would you know what to do if someone you were with, or even yourself, incurred a facial injury? April is National Facial Protection Month, and for this month’s here is some information on what to do if these types of injuries occur.
The Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), and the American Dental Association (ADA), offer the following first aid tips to assist you in case an accident occurs:
• Find the broken pieces, store in water or milk.
• See dentist within24 hours – may be able to reattach the broken pieces of tooth.
• Analgesics for pain.
• See your dentist immediately.
• If the tooth is extruded (hangs down) try to reposition.
Knocked out tooth
• See your dentist immediately – time is essential! For best results, replantation should be done within 5 – 10 minutes.
• Upon locating the tooth, hold it by the crown (the wide part, not the pointed end/root).
• Rinse the tooth but avoid rubbing it or touching the root. Put the tooth back in its socket; cover with gauze or tissue and bite down to stabilize it. Or, briefly store the tooth in cold milk. Alternatively, spit in a cup and place the tooth in the cup.
• Do not let the tooth dry out. A tooth can usually be saved if cared for properly and reimplanted within an hour.
• Cover the wound with a clean dressing and apply pressure.
• Dressing may become saturated; do not remove it. Apply more dressing and pressure.
• Go to a nearby hospital for emergency assistance.
Cuts inside of the mouth
• Gently rinse the mouth with cold water.
• Bite on some gauze, a clean cloth or tissue and apply pressure to the wound.
• Go to the closest hospital emergency department for immediate treatment.
The U-shaped lower jaw often suffers multiple breaks. An upper jaw fracture may cause visible distortion of the face. If teeth fit together properly when the mouth is closed:
• Apply ice to control swelling and take ibuprofen or a similar remedy to control pain.
• Restrict diet to soft foods and if no improvement occurs within 24 hours, seek dental care. If teeth do not fit together properly when the mouth is closed: • Immediately seek emergency care.
• Gently align the jaws.
• Immobilize the jaw; wrap a cloth bandage under the chin and secure it over the head.
• Apply ice to control swelling.
• Gently pack the nose with gauze or tissue.
• Apply ice. Do not blow nose. Head and neck injury
• Do not let the injured person be moved unless by professionals or if in danger.
• Immobilize the head by placing rolled towels on either side. • Keep the injured person warm to avoid the risk of shock.
• If unconscious, clear the person’s mouth and hold their tongue forward to maintain an open airway and seek emergency care