Oral health first aid

Sometimes accidents involving your teeth can happen.

These first-aid tips increase the chances of keeping your teeth after dental injuries:

Other damage to your mouth

Sometimes injuries can also result in damage to the lips (cuts and bruises), gums or structures surrounding the teeth.

It’s also important to get these checked properly. You can contact your dentist, doctor or the local hospital for this.


If you have a toothache, make an appointment with your dentist. If necessary and if it’s normally safe for you to take painkillers such as paracetamol, you can do this before you see the dentist.

If you have an infection or a swollen face, seek urgent medical attention.

If you’re in extreme pain, go to an after-hours dentist.

Bleeding gums?

If you have bleeding gums, make an appointment to see your dentist.

Meanwhile, keep brushing and rinse with saline solution or chlorhexidine (available from the chemist).

Reproduced with the permission of the New Zealand Dental Association, based on the ‘Keeping Your Teeth for a Lifetime ... Easy As’ resource.

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