Dentition in Disasters

From the ancient Egyptians to the American pioneers, we've always had trouble with our teeth.  More recent advances in nutrition, medical practice and dental care have improved the condition and longevity of our teeth.  And our lives are better for it.  We live longer and we can still chew our food when we're 60. Yum!

Have you ever had an aching tooth?  It's agony.  You can't wait to get to the dentist.  What would happen if we had a dental emergency in the midst of another disaster or delay?

Imagine you're on a four day hike or that it's the second day after the "big storm" and no one has power yet.  You are happily munching your lunch, flashlight in hand, when "CRUNCH!"  Applesauce isn't supposed to make that sound, your filling just came out.  Oh, no! There's no way you're gonna see a dentist today.  What do you do?

Your local pharmacy or drug store probably carries just what you need.  Temporary fillings! Yep, in a pinch you can replace a filling or reset a crown with a $5 tube of dental magic.  Hopefully, it will tide you over until you find yourself relieved to be reclining in that chair, a bib on your chest and a light in your eyes! But these products can only save you the discomfort and inconvenience IF you already have a tube in your kit when you need it.

The temporary filling products I have found are called Dentemp, Cavit, and Tempanol.  They are small, easy to use and affordable.  And since you never know where you'll be when a disaster strikes, you might want to make certain your workplace keeps one in the first aid kit as well.

I've never seen a course on dental first aid, but I did find these sites that can give you an awareness and overview on the topic.  Take a minute to read these, or print them out and place them with your first aid supplies or in the back of your family emergency plan.

No Dentist?  Oh, no! by Gary F. Arnet D.D.S.
First Aid for Dental Emergencies
First Aid Dental Supplies

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