Dental care after SHTF

A few weeks ago I cracked one of my teeth whilst eating some popcorn, I grabbed a big handful with a kernel as hard as a diamond inside it. Initially there was no pain and I have been super busy with the Christmas prep so I pushed it to the back of my mind.

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This is similar to damage I had done to my tooth

That was a BIG mistake, fast forward to a few days before Christmas. I wake up and notice a dull ache emanating from the tooth I cracked. I pop some paracetamol and that clears it up for a few hours. I consider going to the dentist but as I have a lot to do and the paracetamol is working so I figure it can wait till after Christmas. (I later regret this decision)

Christmas eve, I am awoken at 2am with a intense pain in my tooth and jaw. I figure that paracetamol wont be enough to the handle this level of pain, so I take some strong co-codamol and ibuprofen. The pain is gone again but I have to keep medicating (at the recommended dose).

Christmas day comes and goes pain free but in the evening the pain starts to break through again. I turn to the only thing I have left. Whiskey. I cant actually drink it as I’m sure its not a good idea to mix alcohol with the amount of painkillers I have in my system but, letting it sit around my tooth provides a good amount of pain relief, for a while.

That night I manage to get to sleep for a whole hour before I am awoken by blinding pain. It has progressed to tooth, jaw, head and sickness. I’m pacing the house looking for anything to numb the pain but I have nothing left that can ease my discomfort. I just sit for hours contemplating my mistakes.

I decide its time to seek help and call the emergency dentist hotline as its my only chance on boxing day. They give me a appointment and fix me up in around 20 minutes and I’m completely pain free! Thank you NHS.

On my way home I am reflecting on the events that had led me to that point and how the whole situation could have been avoided. Obviously, top of the list is VISIT A DENTIST AS SOON AS YOU SUSPECT SOMETHING IS WRONG YOU IDIOT, it’s only going to get worse.

Essential Reading

If you are serious about prepping then this book is an essential addition to your survival library. Its easy to follow and covers everything you need to know about dental care in a survival situation.

Using straightforward language, this illustrated book explains basic preventive care of teeth and gums; describes how to examine patients, diagnose common dental problems, make and use dental equipment, use local anesthetics, place fillings; remove teeth, and more. This edition of Where There Is No Dentist features a new section on how to do Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART), a permanent way to fill cavities without the use of a dental drill that was first pioneered in Tanzania in the mid-80s and is now used by health workers and dental workers in many parts of the world.

Emergency Dental Kit

Most preppers tend to overlook a dental first aid kit, but I know first hand that it is just as essential as your standard first aid kit. All of the items covered in the kit can be picked up relatively cheaply. Here’s a list of the items I recommend, although this is just a base kit, and should be expanded to meet your specific needs.

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It’s very easy to forget proper dental care in a survival situation. Often, we think that since our ancestors survived then we will too but, for a few pounds or dollars (or whatever currency you use) we can give ourselves a great backup in the need of a dental emergency. I know we have all woken up to tooth ache and have agonised over the chore of visiting the dentist immediately but, with a kit like this, at least you get through the day and sleep easier until you can find proper medical relief

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