What to do if your child experiences a dental emergency:
- First and foremost, try to stay calm: injuries to the mouth, face and teeth can happen frequently in children. Remaining calm and taking decisive action will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child’s resulting discomfort.
- Make sure that your child did not suffer a head injury: If your child’s injury involved hitting their head and causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment, your child should see a physician immediately. The mouth and teeth should be addressed as a secondary concern.
- Stop the bleeding: Try to stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth or sterile piece of gauze. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, try to locate them, and place them in a cup of milk, or if that is not available, use a cup of cold water.
- Call our Smile Magic Dentistry office. We offer same day service appointments for dental emergencies – for patients and non-patients – within our normal operating hours.
Some additional information on how to deal with your child’s dental emergencies:
Delicately clean or rinse dirt from the area around the break. Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken tooth to minimize lip or facial swelling. If the fracture is more than one-half of the tooth, see the dentist immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth:
For permanent teeth – find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not root. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in cold water, but don’t scrub or handle the root of the tooth. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting down on gauze, cotton or a washcloth. If you cannot replace the tooth, place it in a cup of milk, or if this is not available, saline or saliva. Go to the dentist immediately. Time is important for saving the tooth, less than 30 minutes is the best. Non-permanent teeth do not need to be maintained (they go right to the tooth fairy!).
Possible Broken Jaw:
Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc., over the top of the head. Apply a cold compress. Go to an oral surgeon or hospital emergency room immediately.
Clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissue. If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Call the dentist.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out:
Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, then repeat as necessary.