If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. We are here to assist when your child's dental health is at risk.
Not all dental injuries require an immediate visit to the dentist. If you are unsure what constitutes an emergency, or need to know what to do before seeing us after-hours, please read our common child dental emergencies and first aid recommendations below.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has bitten their lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
Object Caught In Teeth
If your child has something caught between their teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off of their tooth, have them rinse their mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
Tooth Out of Position
After trauma, sometimes a tooth will be pushed out of place. It can be further up into the gum (i.e., intruded) appearing shorter than the adjacent tooth, further out of the gum (i.e., extruded) appearing longer than the adjacent tooth, pushed backward into the mouth or pushed forward toward the lips (i.e., luxated). Depending upon the position of the tooth, it may need to be repositioned. You should see the dentist as soon as possible so the situation can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
If possible, find the tooth. Handle it by the crown, not by the root. You may rinse the tooth with water only. DO NOT clean with soap, toothpaste, or scrub. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If the tooth is sound, try to reinsertt it in the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze or clean cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing millk. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient's mouth (beside the cheek). The patient must see a dentist immediately! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Knocked Out Baby Tooth
Unlike with the permanent tooth, the baby tooth should not be reimplanted due to potential harm to the develeoping permenant tooth. In most cases, no additional treatment is necessary.
Loose Baby Tooth
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse their mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don't let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seat belts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have them wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.