Stay safe, stay home and avoid accidents

7th April 2020 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

Another day at home with the family?

Staying at home will keep us safe.

Staying in will help protect other people, and we need to do that.

We can protect our key workers so they can work to look after our needs.

It’s a fact, though, that many accidents happen at home. Slips, trips and falls are the most common, and they can impact, quite literally, on our teeth. So here’s some advice to keep us safe so we stay home and avoid accidents.

children on bed fighting stay home dental accident

How to stay home and avoid accidents

It’s a good idea to think about the levels of risk in our home and try to minimise them. At this time of lockdown in particular, none of us wants to go to an emergency facility because of an accident.

As dentists we’re most concerned about accidents to the jaw and teeth. But accidents at home include severe cases such as burns, fractures and amputations. So a word of warning – many more people are taken to A&E because of an accident at home than are taken because of an accident on the road.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) states that while an average of five people a day die on the UK roads, which is fewer than 1,900 per year, around 6,000 people a year die from accidents at home.

Take time to risk assess your home, especially if you live with people who are vulnerable, young children or babies. By increasing awareness, with attention and care, accidents can be reduced.

What are the main causes of dental accidents?

The majority of accidents at home that damage our teeth result from tripping, slipping or falling. With more people than usual at home for more hours of the day, this means the probability of an accident is higher than usual.

Thankfully, accidents where the damage is restricted to the teeth and jaw are usually not life-threatening and can be fixed. It’s still a good idea to know what to do to help though.

Assess the situation and take action

1 – Severe bleeding that won’t stop or significant swelling that’s increasing:

This is an emergency.

Try to access professional help within an hour. At this time,  go online to NHS 111, to find out what to do or where your nearest emergency facility is. Only call 111 if you can’t access the website. Your local dentist or GP will also offer remote advice either through a call service or answer service.

Be prepared to describe the situation, the condition of the patient and  relevant personal details.

2 – A knocked out tooth or teeth:

If it is a second (permanent) tooth, seek professional advice within a hour. Again, contact NHS 111 online for advice. The sooner the tooth is replanted, the better the chance of it embedding firmly in the socket again.

Permanent teeth – if you still have the tooth, important interim care helps keep it ready to replant:

Primary (deciduous) teeth – don’t try to replant a child’s primary tooth yourself, as you could damage the tooth growing beneath. Dentists do not usually replant primary teeth, although there are exceptions, so advice from a dental professional is important.

3 – A fractured tooth:

A broken tooth hurts when the sensitive pulp is exposed. Seek professional advice to manage pain and to receive treatment to restore the tooth. Because of the pain, and risk of infection, seek dental advice within 24 hours.

Local dentists are currently offering remote advice, and emergency centres are established for necessary dental care. Get in touch to find out more.

A note about taking painkillers – During the coronavirus pandemic, current thinking advises against the non-prescribed use of anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, as it may suppress the immune system. If possible, use the correct dosage of paracetamol instead. Whichever pain medication you take, do not exceed the recommended dose.

4 – A chipped tooth:

If it’s just a little bit off the end of a tooth, and it doesn’t hurt, then a chipped tooth falls into the category for routine treatment. We recommend you get in touch with your dentist for professional advice on how to proceed.

Do you have questions?

During work hours we have clinicians available to answer your questions online.

We can’t always avoid accidents

What to do:

People also ask:

POSTED IN: Emergency


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