The Ontario Dental Association: Don't let a dental emergency ruin your
holidays

Be prepared with a dental first-aid kit and know which emergency number to call

TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - As the holiday season swings into gear, people are buying gifts, arranging vacations and planning family dinners. The Ontario Dental Association wants you to plan for one more thing - a dental emergency. Prepare a dental first-aid kit and have an emergency number ready for after-hours dental care.

During the holidays, we often indulge in foods we don't normally eat. Things like chestnuts, walnuts, hard candy and other foods can sometimes damage sensitive teeth, dental work or gums. Remember to chew hard foods slowly and not use your teeth to open or cut any type of hard shell.

"From a chipped tooth to a lost filling, a dental emergency can hamper any celebration," says Dr. Ira Kirshen, President of the ODA. "A dental first-aid kit can minimize the pain and discomfort until you get to a dentist."

Many household first-aid kits contain items for medical emergencies, such as cuts and sprains. But dealing with a dental emergency requires other supplies. The ODA suggests including the following items in your first-aid kit:

    
    -   Dental pain relievers - Dental pain is often a result of inflammation
        and pressure on various tissues and nerves of the face, so the best
        over-the-counter pain relievers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
        drugs. These include ibuprofen or naproxen. Over-the-counter dental
        anesthetic gels, pastes and liquids can also alleviate dental pain.

    -   Temporary dental cement - Can be used to replace a filling or secure
        a crown. A piece of softened sugarless gum can also work as a
        temporary filling.

    -   Soft dental floss - To remove objects stuck between teeth.

    -   Denture repair product - For any broken, missing or worn parts of a
        denture.
    

Ask your dentist about after-hours emergency care, or look for emergency dental clinics in your area. Have this information readily available in case you or your guests may need it during holiday gatherings.

For information on how to handle dental emergencies, visit the ODA website at www.youroralhealth.ca/emergency.

"A dental emergency can happen at any time - but it's even worse when it happens on a holiday since your dentist may not be immediately available," says Dr. Kirshen. "When you're prepared, the problem can be taken care of quickly and efficiently, letting you get back to your festivities."

The Ontario Dental Association is the voluntary professional organization which represents the dentists of Ontario, supports its members, is dedicated to the provision of exemplary oral health care and promotes the attainment of optimal health for the people of Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Dental Association

For further information: For further information: Rui Manuel Estevao, Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, tel: (416) 355-2278, email: restevao@oda.ca; Bonnie Dean, Public Affairs and Communications, tel: (416) 922-3900 ext. 3305, email: bdean@oda.ca

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Ontario Dental Association

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