How To Use Anbesol: Photos & Video Instructions

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

You have a raging toothache so you run to the pharmacy and pick up a tube of Anbesol in hopes of alleviating the unbearable tooth pain. However, right before you use it, you decide to read the instructions on how to use anbesol so that you do it properly.

Anbesol - unopened package

Unfortunately, you realize that the directions on the box are incredibly vague and not as helpful as you’d like. It literally says, “Apply a pea-size amount to the affected area up to 4 times daily or as directed by a dentist/doctor.”

Anbesol - label

Like, could you be a little more specific please?

Well luckily for you, THIS DENTIST will tell you exactly how we would use orajel in the most effective way to relieve your aching tooth pain. Images and video instructions to follow~

Although before we begin, you do need to open the tube and remove the tamper proof seal. After that, you can start using the product.

How to open anbesol gel

Once you open the package with anbesol and unscrew the cap, you’ll notice that the opening is closed off. There is a tamper proof seal that is protecting the product and preserving its freshness. This seal must be cut off (opened) before you can squeeze out any anbesol gel.

If you look at the directions on the back label, it does say to cut the tube where the score mark is. It should come right off with a scissor. Once you do that, you can see an opening in the tube.

How to remove tube seal:

  1. Unscrew the cap from the anbesol tube.
  2. Cut the tube across the score mark.
  3. Visualize the opening and you’re ready to use this product.

That is how you open the anbesol gel. It is fairly straightforward and should only take a few seconds to do.

Written Instructions

We’re going to tell you the best way to use anbesol so that you can maximize its pain alleviation. If you use it the wrong way, it’ll just be less effective which isn’t what you want when you’re in pain.

How to use anbesol:

  1. Wash your hands. Use soap and water so that you prevent introducing more bacteria.
  2. Place anbesol onto cotton tip. Don’t use your fingers to apply the gel. Use a clean cotton tip applicator. It provides better maneuverability inside the mouth.
  3. Dry the tooth and gums. Use a paper towel and wipe away all of the saliva around the affected area. This includes the aching tooth along with the gums.
  4. Apply anbesol to tooth and gums. Using the q-tip, rub it on all surfaces of the tooth and the surrounding gums.
  5. Tilt your head to the opposite side. After you finishing applying the gel or cream, lean your head to the opposite side.
    • If the affected side is on the left, tilt your head to the right.
    • If the affected side is on the right, tilt your head to the left.
  6. Wait 2-3 minutes with head tilted. Keep your head in that position for 2-3 minutes to let the medication work. If saliva begins to pool, swallow it immediately to prevent it from touching the anbesol.
  7. One quick rinse. Once you’re done, rinse out quickly just one time and then no eating or drinking for an hour.
  8. Repeat up to 3 more times per day. The instructions says to use it up to 4 times daily total.

Video instructions

We’re using the anbesol toothache cream for this video tutorial.

How to use anbesol video

And that is how you use this topical anesthetic gel.

How to apply anbesol effectively

We’re going to review with you a couple of important tips on how to increase the effectiveness of Anbesol when you use it.

  • Dry the area. Use a paper towel and wipe away saliva from the affected tooth and gums. Saliva is the enemy of anbesol because it dilutes it and washes it away, thus making it less effective.
  • Apply anbesol to every surface of the tooth and gums. Since you’re not a dentist, you don’t know if its the tooth or the gums that are hurting you. Thus, you should apply it to every surface of the affected tooth along with the gums.
  • Tilt your head. After you’ve applied it, tilt your head to the opposite side. This helps the saliva to pool away from the affected area. That prevents your spit from washing away the gel or diluting it.

Despite all of our tips, we do want you to be aware that this toothache home remedy is a temporary form of pain relief. This product was never meant to permanently get rid of your pain nor was it meant to last hours on end.

As per the directions on the label, you should apply a pea-sized amount to the affected area. More isn’t necessarily better. All you want is just a coating around the affected area. Any excess will just fall off or wash away which means you’re wasting the gel.

After you finish treatment, you should wait an hour before you eat or drink any soft drinks. That way you give the topical time for it to work its magic.

If you’re not getting any pain relief from using anbesol as we instructed, it simply means that your toothache is too severe for it. You must see a dentist if this doesn’t work.

Anbesol - stop use and ask a doctor

It specifically says to stop use if there are no improvements after 7 days or if the condition worsens.

When to see dentist

If you’re having a toothache, you should schedule a dentist appointment even as you’re using the anbesol. This OTC pain relieving gel will temporarily numb the pain but it does nothing to permanently treat the source of your tooth pain and get rid of it. You also shouldn’t use this after an extraction since it’s not as helpful as you may think.

Anbesol - on table

Only your dentist is able provide proper treatment to fix whatever is ailing you and get rid of it permanently. It’s not a solution to perpetually keep using a OTC pain reliever.

So what are you waiting for? After you apply that gel/cream, start looking for a dentist pronto.


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