A dental emergency – especially when it involves your child’s precious smile – is never welcome. When a fall, sports injury, or broken tooth happens, isn’t it nice to know that you can count on receiving the same gentle, advanced care after hours? That is what we want for our families!
While some things that feel like dental emergencies can be solved at home, when you have a real problem like a knocked out tooth or a possible broken jaw, please call us right away. Don’t wait. If it happens when we are not in the office, please call us anyway. There is always a doctor available to answer your questions, ease your fears and help you get the care you need.
Just call our regular phone number and our emergency service will contact a doctor directly.
Here are some of the most common childhood dental emergencies and how to deal with them properly:
- Broken Tooth – Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken tooth to minimize lip or facial swelling. Contact our office or our emergency service as soon as possible.
- Knocked Out Tooth – For permanent teeth: Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in cold water, but DO NOT scrub or handle the root unnecessarily. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have your child hold the tooth in place by closing his or her mouth on a gauze pad or washcloth. If it is not possible to replace the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk, or if this is not available, cool water. Call our office immediately. Time is important for saving the tooth; less than 30 minutes is the best.For primary (baby) teeth: Teeth are not re-implanted. The tooth fairy will be visiting a little early.
- Toothaches – 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 tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Call the office for an emergency appointment.
- Bitten Tongue or Lip or Cheek – If there is bleeding apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply an ice compress to the injured area. Call our office for further instructions.
- Possible Broken Jaw – Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc. over the top of the head. Apply cold compresses. Call our office or go to a hospital emergency room immediately.
- Objects Caught between the Teeth – Try to remove the object with dental floss. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Do not use a sharp metal object. If you cannot remove it, call our office.
- Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out – Place a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place and apply gentle pressure for 15 minutes, and repeat as necessary.
- Orthodontic Emergencies – If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with dental wax. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Call your orthodontist or our office immediately. Loose or broken appliances that do not bother the child usually do not require emergency attention.