"Some emergencies are more urgent than others, and time will be the biggest factor in your results," said Dr. Mandy, noting that the faster you respond, the better your outcome.
For example, let's say the boys are out throwing the football on Thanksgiving and a tooth gets knocked out. What now?
"This is a situation you want to address immediately," Dr. Robert said. "Stay calm, call your dentist, and hold the tooth by the crown only."
He went on to share from that point rinse the tooth only in water and ideally hold it in the socket it fell from, but if that's not possible you can transport it in a container of milk or your saliva.
"If you find yourself in pain, use a cold compress on your injury site," Dr. Mandy added.
If for some reason, the tooth cannot be saved, thanks to the advancements in oral care, a dental implant is an option for replacing a knocked out tooth, and your dentist will be able to guide you on the best course of action.
Then there's always the scenario of you enjoying one of favorite dishes or treats at a holiday meal and you chomp down only to break or crack a tooth. What do you do?
"Most small chips can be fixed with a filling," Dr. Robert said. "A larger piece may require a crown, but either should be able to be repaired easily and quickly and without much rush, unless you find yourself in great pain in which case you should contact your dentist immediately."
On the same token, if you find yourself battling a great deal of tooth pain without any pointed cause or incident, you might contact your dentist during regular business hours to discuss the possibility of tooth sensitivity development due to worn enamel or other conditions that would need more investigation.
"You could be dealing with the beginning of an abscess, or something along those lines that we would need to treat quickly to avoid an extraction or potential infection," Dr. Mandy added. "For general toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth."
And as always, if the pain persists, she added that you should contact your dentist right away.
There are also some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth during the holidays and any time: first, wear a mouth-guard when participating in sports, especially those family turkey bowl games, and second, avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
"And if you're getting a jump-start on wrapping those gifts, use scissors, and never your teeth, to cut things," Dr. Robert said. "You'd be surprised how quickly that can cause a problem."
To learn more about what dental emergencies need immediate attention and how to handle them and others, contact the team at Soddy Daisy Smiles. They can be reached at 423-332-5725.