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Dental Topics

Emergency Care

What Should I Do If My Child's Baby Tooth Is Knocked Out?

This is not usually an emergency, and in most cases, no treatment is necessary. The baby tooth should not be replanted because of the potential for subsequent damage to the developing permanent tooth. We do encourage you to bring the patient during normal business hours to be evaluated. 

What Should I Do If My Child's Permanent Tooth Is Knocked Out?

If possible, find the tooth and inspect it for fractures.  If the tooth is sound rinse it gently with water (NO soap) remembering to hold the dislocated tooth by the crown-not the root.  Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place it in a cup containing the patient’s saliva or milk. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient’s mouth (beside the cheek). Take your child (with the tooth) to be seen immediately! The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling. You can also try a ziplock back with crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. Call our office if the bleeding is no controlled easily with pressure.

What If A Tooth Is Chipped Or Fractured?

Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling if the lip also was injured. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, place it in cold milk or water and bring it with you to the dental office.

For both primary and permanent teeth, the size and location of the lesion will determine what treatment is necessary.  It the nerve (pulp) is exposed, a pulpectomy and a crown (primary tooth) or a root canal (permanent tooth) may be needed.  Otherwise, we can repair the fracture with tooth colored bonding. For a permanent tooth a crown or veneer may also be needed after the age of 16. Ibuprofen appropriate for the child’s age and weight may be taken to help keep the swelling down. 

What About A Severe Blow To The Head Or A Jaw Fracture?

You need immediate medical attention. A severe head injury can be life threatening. Keep the jaw from moving. Keep in mind that an emergency medical team might be able to reach you faster than you can get to the hospital.

What If My Child Has A Toothache?

Discomfort in the gums could often be confused as tooth pain.  Clean the affected are and rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water or use dental floss to dislodge any food that may be impacted. If the pain still exists, call our office. Do not place aspirin or heat on the gum or on the aching tooth. If the face is swollen, apply cold compresses and call our office immediately.Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child’s weight and age, might ease the symptoms.

Can Dental Injuries Be Prevented?

Your child’s risk for dental injuries can be reduced greatly by following a few simple suggestions. First, reduce risk for severe oral injury in sports by wearing protective gear, including a mouthguard. Second, always use a car seat for young children and require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, childproof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries. Regular dental check-ups provide your dentist an opportunity to discuss additional age-appropriate preventive strategies with your child.