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Emergency Dental Kit Essentials: Be Prepared for Any Dental Crisis

May 05, 2024
Emergency Dental Kit Essentials | Family Dentist in Glendale Heights, IL

At Glendale Heights Family Dental, we understand that dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them. Whether it's a sudden toothache, a broken crown, or a lost filling, having an emergency dental kit on hand can make all the difference in managing these situations until you can reach our office. Here's a comprehensive guide to assembling your own emergency dental kit:

Dental Floss

Dental floss is a fundamental tool for maintaining oral hygiene, allowing you to clean between teeth where toothbrushes can't reach. Its thin, flexible design enables it to slip into tight spaces, removing food particles and plaque buildup. When food debris accumulates between teeth, it can lead to bacterial growth, which in turn can cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

Regular flossing with dental floss helps prevent these issues by effectively removing debris. It's particularly beneficial after meals when particles can get lodged between teeth. For those with braces or dental work, such as bridges or implants, flossing becomes even more critical.

Travel-Sized Toothbrush and Toothpaste

A travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste are invaluable for maintaining oral hygiene while away from home. These compact versions are designed for convenience, easily fitting into purses, backpacks, or pockets. Whether you're at work, traveling, or simply out for the day, having a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand allows you to freshen your breath and remove food particles after meals.

Interdental Brush or Soft Picks

Interdental brushes and soft picks are specialized tools designed to clean the spaces between teeth. These areas, known as interdental spaces, are where food particles and plaque commonly accumulate. For individuals with braces, bridges, or large gaps between teeth, these tools are particularly beneficial.


Interdental brushes have small, bristled heads that can reach into tight spaces to remove plaque and debris. They are especially effective for those with braces, as they can clean around wires and brackets. Soft picks, on the other hand, are small, flexible tools with rubber bristles. They are gentle on the gums and can be used to clean between teeth and along the gumline. Using interdental brushes or soft picks as part of your oral hygiene routine helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. 

Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are valuable additions to any emergency dental kit. These medications provide temporary relief from toothaches, gum pain, or discomfort associated with dental issues.

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen work by reducing inflammation and blocking pain signals to the brain. For mild to moderate dental pain, these medications can be highly effective. Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), not only alleviates pain but also helps reduce swelling, which is common in dental emergencies. Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is a pain reliever and fever reducer, ideal for situations where NSAIDs are not suitable due to medical conditions or allergies.


When using OTC pain medications, it's essential to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the packaging. Do not exceed the recommended dose, and be mindful of any contraindications or interactions with other medications you may be taking.

Dental Wax

Dental wax is a versatile and essential item in an emergency dental kit, particularly for those with braces or broken teeth. It's a soft, pliable material that can be easily shaped and applied to cover the sharp edges of broken teeth or orthodontic wires. When a tooth breaks, it can leave jagged edges that can irritate the tongue, cheeks, or lips. Similarly, braces, wires, or brackets can sometimes cause discomfort by rubbing against the inner cheek.


By applying dental wax over these sharp edges or protruding parts of braces, you create a smooth surface that prevents irritation and reduces the risk of injury. The wax provides a temporary buffer between the broken tooth or braces and the soft tissues of the mouth. This not only alleviates discomfort but also protects the oral tissues from further damage or sores.


To use dental wax, ensure the area is clean and dry. Take a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a thin layer. Gently press the wax onto the sharp edge of the broken tooth or the protruding part of the braces. The wax will adhere and stay in place until it's intentionally removed. It's safe to eat and drink with dental wax in place, and it can be easily removed and reapplied as needed.

Orthodontic Relief Wax

Orthodontic relief wax is specifically designed for patients with braces, wires, or brackets. It's a soft, malleable wax that provides relief from irritation caused by braces rubbing against the inner cheeks, lips, or tongue. When braces are first placed or adjusted, they can sometimes create friction against the soft tissues of the mouth, leading to sore spots and discomfort.


Applying orthodontic relief wax to the areas of irritation creates a smooth barrier between the braces and the inner mouth surfaces. This helps reduce friction and pressure, providing immediate relief from pain and discomfort. Additionally, it can prevent the development of sores or ulcers, allowing the mouth to heal.


To use orthodontic relief wax, ensure the braces and surrounding areas are clean and dry. Take a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a thin layer. Gently press the wax onto the bracket or wire that is causing irritation. The wax will adhere and stay in place until it's intentionally removed. It's safe to eat and drink with orthodontic relief wax in place, and it can be easily reapplied as needed.


Denture Adhesive

For individuals with partial or full dentures, a denture adhesive is a crucial item in an emergency dental kit. Dentures can become loose or dislodged, especially when eating or speaking. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, making it challenging to eat and speak confidently.

Denture adhesive helps secure the dentures in place, providing a firm hold and stability. It also creates a seal that prevents food particles from getting trapped under the dentures, reducing the risk of irritation or infection. In an emergency situation where dentures become loose, applying denture adhesive can quickly restore comfort and functionality.


Apply a small amount of adhesive cream or powder to the part of the dentures that will come into contact with the gums. Insert the dentures into the mouth and bite down gently to ensure a secure fit. The adhesive will provide a strong hold throughout the day, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.


Remember, these items are meant to provide temporary relief and should not replace professional dental care. If you experience a dental emergency or have any concerns about your oral health, please reach out to us. Whether it's for routine check-ups, preventive care, or emergency situations, Glendale Heights Family Dental is here for you.

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Glendale Heights Family Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services for all ages. Trust us as your go-to family dentist in Glendale Heights.


Glendale Heights Family Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services for all ages. Trust us as your go-to family dentist in Glendale Heights.

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