If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations.
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 on the adjacent cheek or lip to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth
If your child’s permanent tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, find the tooth and gently rinse it with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it’s in place in the mouth). Place the tooth in a clean container with milk. Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly it's possible to save a permanent tooth.
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, schedule an appointment immediately. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally for comfort. If helpful, you can 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. The tooth will be evaluated in the office.
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.