If you have a dental emergency, including a broken tooth, a tooth that's been knocked out or any type of injury inside your mouth, you don't want to put off visiting a dentist. As with other medical emergencies, you may simply make your injury worse and risk an infection or other complication the longer you wait to get medical care. When you do need to see an emergency dentist, note a few things to avoid beforehand so you don't aggravate that injury.
Don't put anything topical on your mouth
If you've knocked out a tooth, have gotten a gash inside your mouth or otherwise have any type of open sore or open tissue along the gums, a cold compress on the outside of the mouth can help to alleviate pain and swelling. However, don't put anything topical on the affected area inside the mouth. This means aspirin, rubbing alcohol, mouthwash, iodine or even ointments used for when babies are teething. These medications are not meant to treat open sores in the mouth and can burn the open gum tissue and cause inflammation. You can take an oral pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen if necessary, but avoid having the pill or any type of syrup come into contact with your open sore.
Don't pick at the tooth
If a tooth has gotten knocked out, you can retrieve the tooth and rinse it of any dirt or sediment, but don't pick at it or use a brush on it. You may think you're getting rid of debris on the tooth, but it may actually be the tooth roots that you're brushing away; if the roots are intact, an emergency dentist may be able to suture the tooth back into place. Even using an alcohol rinse can damage those roots, so do nothing but gently run the tooth under water.
Don't force teeth in place
If you've lost a tooth, it's good to put it back in its socket but don't try to jam it into place, thinking you'll protect it. You could easily damage the tooth and your gums by doing this. If you have loose teeth such as from an impact, don't try to force them into place or think you can make a homemade splint with toothpicks or any other such device. This too can damage the tooth roots or cause injury to your gums. Simply use a cold compress as mentioned above and try to protect your mouth as much as possible while you get to an emergency dentist.