As Preppers, we like to think that we are prepared for most situations should the SHTF. With our bug out bags, food caches and emergency medical supplies, it is easy to start feeling reasonably confident in our ability to survive.
However, it is easy to overlook the little things that can have a big impact on not only our comfort levels but also our ability to survive. Dental emergencies can cause great distress, pain and infection.
Dental problems don’t care where you are when they hit. You could be out camping, hunting, fishing or in the middle of an emergency situation. You’re in pain, and no dentist is available!
Having a dental first aid kit purposely designed for unexpected situations can make getting through the situation a little bit easier.
Start With the Basics
Small Container – This can be used to store any dislodged teeth until you can get appropriate help. It can also be used to store any fillings, etc., that have fallen out.
Cotton balls/sterile gauze – for any bleeding caused by a knocked out tooth, a bitten lip or tongue, etc. Cotton balls or a gauze can be used to apply pressure to help stem bleeding and also to cushion the affected area.
Toothbrush – keeping your teeth clean everyday will help prevent many more serious issues from occurring, so having a good toothbrush (and some spares) in your kit will help keep oral hygiene up
Toothpaste – for daily hygiene purposes. Also that fresh feeling after brushing your teeth can be a great morale booster.
Mouthwash – a good supply of mouthwash helps kill any bacteria that brushing alone may not completely remove. You can get antibacterial mouthwash that also helps prevent and treat gum disease and other oral issues.
Dental floss – apart from its obvious use, floss has many survival uses so having a good supply of it in your dental kit is a great idea
Over the counter pain relief – ibuprofen and paracetamol (Acetaminophen) will help reduce general toothache and mouth pain.
More Specific Dental Items to Consider for Your Kit
Temporary filling cement – if a filling falls out or a crown (cap) becomes dislodged this can be used to temporarily refill the cavity or to fix the cap back to the tooth. This can help prevent a lot of pain. It is quick and easy to use (most will come in ready mixed forms). The usual method is to thoroughly clean the affected tooth, fill the cavity with the cement, grind teeth a couple of times and then allow to set before eating.
Oral pain swabs – these are swabs that contain benzocaine which is an anaesthetic- this makes them perfect for temporary relief of toothache. The swabs can also be used on canker sores and sore gums. To use you just have to apply the benzocaine to the affected area using the swab. This can be reapplied up to four times per day depending on the level of pain you have.
Dental wax – if you or anyone in your family wear braces then this is a must have for your dental first aid kit. It provides a cushion between the brace and the rest of the mouth. This can provide great relief from any discomfort or pain.
For a chipped or broken tooth, the dental wax can also act as a temporary barrier to hot and cold sensitivity.
Dental Tools to Consider
Mouth mirror – these little round mirrors on a stick that you have probably seen your dentist use a hundred times will make a great addition to your dental kit. If you are helping someone else out with a dental issue then you will be able to get a much better view of what’s going on behind their teeth and in parts of the mouth that are otherwise difficult to see. Mouth mirrors can make life easier for checking your own teeth – you will just have to stand in front of another mirror and you can catch the reflection of what you are looking for. You can also get magnifying mouth mirrors which can further help examining inside the mouth.
Dental tweezers – also known as college tweezers, these are used for removing small objects from the mouth such as a trapped piece of food. They can also be used to put dislodged crowns back in place.
Dental pick – if dental floss is not removing an object between teeth then a dental pick will be your next option. It is a metal pick that can be used to remove any unwanted objects from between teeth.
Any type of first aid kit should always contain gloves and hand sanitizer to keep germs at bay.
This dental first aid kit can never replace the abilities of a qualified dentist but in a SHTF situation it could make survival a bit more comfortable.