Holiday Season Dental Emergencies

Christmas trading hours and business closures can be worrying if you have a dental emergency….so what are your options?

Unexpected dental emergencies can be a real pain during the holiday season so it’s important to know how to deal with dental drama when an emergency strikes.

We all love eating a bit of Christmas fare but if biting into a mince pie or pork crackling over the festive season is causing you pain, you may need to see your local dentist as soon as possible.

The best form of care is to book an appointment with your local dentist however, here are some recommendations on how to manage your emergency until you can reach assistance.


  • Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth if swelling is present.
  • Seek pain relief options from your chemist with over-the-counter pain medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen ensuring that you are not allergic to any medications.
  • Avoid putting any medications or remedies directly on or against the tooth and gums as this can cause ulcers and burns.
  • Avoid eating food and drinks that are extremely hot or cold, including sugary or acidic food and drinks that might worsen the toothache.

Knocked out tooth

If an adult tooth has been knocked out completely, rinse the tooth with milk to remove any dirt or debris and try and replant gently in the socket. If this doesn’t work, place the tooth in milk to keep it moist. Milk keeps the tooth from drying out and has the sugars needed to support the cells of your tooth. This method is only suitable if the tooth still has the root on it. Seek dental assistance as soon as possible as time is critical when saving a tooth.

Lost filling or crown

If a tooth with a filling or crown cracks, breaks or has tooth decay forming under it, the filling or crown can dislodge or fall out completely. The exposed tooth underneath this lost restoration is now open to the bacteria in the mouth along with any food and drink you consume. This can cause the tooth to become extremely sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks. It is essential to book in with your dentist as soon as possible to replace the lost filling or crown to avoid causing irreversible damage to the delicate nerve in the tooth.

Chipped or cracked tooth

  • Clean the area by rinsing the mouth or bushing gently with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Keep all fragments for your dentist to look at.
  • If swelling occurs use a cold compress to the affected area.
  • Keep to a soft diet avoiding including sugary and acidic food and drinks.
  • Book in to see your Pacific Smiles dentist as soon as possible.

If you need urgent assistance and your local Pacific Smiles dentist isn’t available, head to your nearest hospital for emergency treatment.

So how should I try and avoid emergency dental procedures over the holiday period?

  • Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Cut back on sugary food and drinks to avoid cavities.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools to open lids or packaging, bags, sticky tape etc.
  • Don’t forget your daily dental regime of brushing and flossing to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Book an appointment with your dentist

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