Dental Emergency Tips

Q. Toothache

Clean the area of the affected tooth. Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water or use dental floss to dislodge any food than may be impacted. You may apply a cold compress of ice wrapped in a cloth to your child’s face if it is swollen. Do not put heat or aspirin on the gums near the sore area. You may give your child over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for pain according to the package direction. Do not give children aspirin and closely follow the dosage based on your child’s weight as listed on the bottle. If the pain still persists, contact our office.

Q. Knocked out tooth

Baby tooth – This is usually not an emergency, and in most cases, no treatment is necessary. Do no re-implant a knocked out baby tooth; the Tooth Fairy may be coming a little earlier than expected. You may call us during business hours, or call our emergency number if you need reassurance or have questions that you feel need immediate attention.

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, scrub, or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport it in a cup of cold milk or the child’s saliva. DO NOT place the tooth in water. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the child’s mouth (beside the cheek). The child must be seen by us IMMEDIATELY! Time is critical in saving the tooth, so call us without delay.

Q. Chipped or fractured tooth

tooth emergency, chipped toothBaby tooth – This is usually not an emergency. You may contact our office during normal business hours.

Permanent tooth – Rinse the mouth with warm water, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling if there was also a facial injury. If possible, locate and save any broken tooth fragments in a moist cloth, and bring them with you to the office. Contact our office immediately.

Q. Cut lip, cheek, or tongue

Clean the area with a clean, wet cloth. Apply ice to the injured area to help control swelling. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call your doctor or visit the hospital emergency room.

Q. Bleeding after losing a baby tooth

Place a clean, folded gauze pad or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. This procedure may be repeated. Keep your child from frequent rinsing. If bleeding persists, call our office.

Q. Broken braces and wires

Broken wires can be covered with wax until your child can be seen by their orthodontist. Do not attempt to remove wires yourself.

Q. Severe blow to the head

Take your child to the nearest hospital or emergency room immediately.

Q. Possible broken or fractured jaw

Keep the jaw from moving, and take your child to the nearest hospital or emergency room immediately.