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Dental First Aid Kit For Hiking And Backpacking

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If you spend a lot of time hiking, rock climbing, or camping in the backcountry, chances are that you keep a first aid kit on you at all times. You may also want to consider adding a few items to the kit in the event of a dental emergency. A dental injury can quickly result in an infection, which can be deadly if you are a few days hike from civilization. The weight of these items won't take up much space in a pack, but you will be glad you have them if the need arises.

Basic supplies

Many of the supplies in your kit will serve double duty since they are items normally already present in a first aid kit. These items include the following:

  • Gauze – You can bite down on a wad to stop bleeding if a tooth is knocked out or loose.

  • Cotton balls – These can be used like gauze.

  • Sanitizing wipes – Use these to clean your hands before attending to a dental wound. Can also be used in a pinch to sanitize a wound site on the interior of the lips or cheek, just don't swallow.

  • Tweezers – These can be used for any detail work, such as if a tooth shatters and you need to get the shards out of your gums.

  • Pain reliever – You can use ibuprofen or your preferred pain reliever.

Dental-specific supplies

There are a few supplies that you should add to the above. Most can be found at pharmacies or drug stores. These items include the following:

  • Dental wax – this is the same stuff used to smooth over rough spots on braces, so it is readily available. Dental wax can be placed over a cracked tooth to smooth the rough edges. It also works well as a temporary cap in the event a crown or filling is lost.

  • Toothache reliever – this is typically a gel that you rub on your gums or place on the painful tooth. The types made for adults work best, but you can also use the type of gel marketed for teething babies.

  • Filling kits – If you have a lot of fillings or crowns, you may want to pack one of these along with the dental wax. These kits contain a temporary cement and an applicator. You place the cement over the tooth, following the directions in the kit, and allow it to harden. These repairs don't last long, but long enough so you can finish your trip without further issues.

  • Small container – Keep a small container with a tight-fitting cap in the kit. This can be used to hold a knocked out tooth or a lost crown until you get to the dentist. If you keep the tooth moist and get to a dentist quickly, the tooth can sometimes be saved.

  • Specialty items – if you have any dental conditions, make sure you have any emergency treatment items that you may need. For example, you should bring a denture repair kit if you where dentures, since a small break could make it difficult, if not impossible, to eat while you are on the trail.

Finally, make sure you have the phone number for a good emergency dentist. This way you can call for immediate treatment as soon as you hike back out to your car. For more information on dental care, check out websites like