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Dental Supplies Included in Preparation of Emergency

Aug 17, 2007
Fierce weather, flu epidemics, gasoline shortages, power outages, and other natural or man-made disasters: you never know when an emergency situation may strike. Since September is America's National Preparedness Month, why not take steps now to gather supplies and make plans?

Depending on the type of emergency, make sure that all family members know what to do, where supplies are stored, and how to get in contact with each other. These are simple yet effective ways to give you and your family peace of mind.

Making a supplies kit

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's checklist (available in English and Spanish) recommends gathering adequate supplies for 3 days. However, you may want to consider stockpiling up to a week's worth of basic items, including:

(1) Water for drinking and sanitation (1 gallon per person per day)
(2) Non-perishable food
(3) Can opener, eating utensils, paper plates and cups, and paper towels
(4) Radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
(5) Whistle
(6) Matches in a waterproof container
(7) Dust mask, plastic sheeting, and duct tape
(8) Wrench or pliers
(9) Local maps
(10) Sanitation items (moist towelettes, toilet paper, garbage bags, plastic ties, chlorine bleach, and a medicine dropper)
(11) Fire extinguisher
Personal items for your supplies kit also may include:
(12) Prescription medicine
(13) Glasses or lens-care supplies
(14) First aid kit, first aid book, and a list of your family's medicines and dosages
(15) Toiletries, such as soap and feminine care products
(16) Cash or traveler's checks
(17) Copies of important family documents (medical insurance cards, insurance policy information, bank account records, etc.)
(18) Complete change of clothing per person, including sturdy shoes and overcoats
(19) Sleeping bag or warm blanket per person
(20) Paper and pencils

In addition, you should consider the needs of your family. For example:

(1) Formula, diapers, and care items for infants
(2) Books, games, or puzzles for children
(3) Food and water for pets
(4) Special items for seniors, such as hearing aids, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen
(5) Special items for other family members, such as a medical alert bracelet that identifies the individual's disability, allergies, and family contact information
(6) Small, important family mementos, such as photographs or discs

Store your emergency supplies in a dry, easily accessible place. Check the dates on food items periodically; rotate them into your regular supply and replace them as needed.

Making a first aid kit for dental emergencies

In addition to the government's recommendations, be sure to create a first aid kit that includes supplies for dental emergencies:

(1) Clove oil (a natural pain reliever)
(2) Tweezers
(3) Dental mirror
(4) Small cotton pellets, gauze, or cotton handkerchief
(5) Petroleum jelly
(6) Dental floss
(7) Soft dental wax
(8) Ibuprofin (not aspirin)
(9) Saline solution
(10) Extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss
(11) Extra supplies for denture care as needed
(12) Contact information for our dental office and dental insurance

Making a plan for dental emergencies

If you or your family members have a dental emergency, you may be able to handle it until you can contact our office. For example:

(1) If a baby tooth is knocked out: Don't worry unnecessarily. Just notify us so that we can check whether the area will need a space maintainer.
(2) If a permanent tooth is knocked out: Rinse it with water, pick it up by the crown (not the roots), and try to place it gently back into the socket until we can examine it. If that's not possible, keep it in the mouth between the tooth and gums, or place it in a glass of milk.
(3) If the wire on braces break: Cover the end with a small piece of soft dental wax or (if that's not available) a small piece of pre-chewed sugarless gum.

For any dental emergency, be sure to contact your office as soon as you can. And remember, with a good plan and supplies, you can gain peace of mind (one of your best tools for emergency preparedness).
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