Dental First Aid

Alexandria, VA Dentist - Dental First Aid

Dental First Aid

Tooth Knocked Out

  • Find the tooth

  • Handle the tooth by the top, not the root. Make sure you do not touch the root. 

  • If necessary rinse the tooth in cold water. 

  • Attempt to reinsert the tooth into the socket.  Hold the tooth in place by biting on a piece of clean gauze. 

  • If the tooth cannot be reinserted, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk.

  • DO NOT wrap the tooth in gauze, tissue or cloth.

  • Call your dentist immediately

  • Getting the tooth replanted within 30 minutes provides the best chance for the tooth to survive


  • Clean area around sore tooth by gently brushing, flossing and rinsing. 

  • Rinse vigorously with warm salt water. Dental floss can be used to dislodge trapped debris.

  • DO NOT place aspirin on the tooth or gum. 

  • If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. 

  • Take a pain reliever. 

  • If toothache does not subside, call your Dentist.

 Chipped Teeth

  • If there is pain or sensitivity that persists, this indicates possible nerve damage and your Dentist should be contacted immediately. 

  • If there is no pain or sensitivity, schedule a regular appointment with your Dentist. 

  • If the chipped area is rough and irritating to the tongue or gums, it can be smoothed by using a fine emery board.

 Filling Out

  • Fillings falling out are generally caused by tooth decay. 

  • If painful or sensitive, contact your Dentist immediately. 

  • Orthodontic wax, available in most drug stores can be used to temporarily fill the void. Consult with a qualified Dental professional before using these products.

Debris Between Teeth

  • Attempt to floss the item out. 

  • If this fails, put a knot in the floss. Normally place the floss between the teeth and then pull the knotted portion of the floss through. 

  • If the knotted floss does not work. Gently move the teeth by placing a toothpick between the teeth and GENTLY, but firmly pushing the tooth to the side for several minutes allowing the teeth to move. Release the pressure and then reapply  the pressure causing the teeth to move a little further. Remove the toothpick and attempt to floss the item out. The teeth will move back to their regular position after several minutes. 

  • If this fails contact your Dentist. 

Mouth Sores

Fever Blisters

  • The prescription cream Denavir works very well for regular cold sore sufferers. 

  • Famvir tablets taken preventively before getting a cold sore helps prevent the sore/blister from forming. 

  • Abreva is an over the counter cream that helps speed healing.

Canker Sores

  • An over the counter treatment, Kanka, is available. 

  • If you regularly get canker sores the prescription cream Aphthasol works very well. 

  • Denture and Retainers Sore Spots

  • These types of sore spots can be treated like canker sores. It may be necessary to call your Dentist for an appointment to have the dentures or retainer adjusted.


  • Apply firm, but gentle pressure to the area with a clean gauze. 
  • If the bleeding does not stop or slow after 15 minutes, call your Dentist or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

 Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out

  • Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out is normal. 
  • Fold a clean gauze and place it over the bleeding area. 
  • Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. 
  • Repeat as necessary until the bleeding stops. 


The information on this page is not intended to replace professional dental/medical advice. This information should not be used to treat or diagnose health problems or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. This information can be changed or updated without notice to represent the most recent trends in health care.

 It is important to understand the risks of communicating electronically since information transmitted over the public Internet is subject to 3rd part interception,  manipulation, and alteration. Dr. Rosenthal is not responsible if the information received is different than the information provided. Dr. Rosenthal does not offer advice or diagnosis via e-mail or other types of electronic communication.
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