Any emergency situation with your child can be stressful. We encourage our families to keep our office number available, and contact us at 303.650.0310 should a dental emergency arise. Dr. Mudd and Dr. Villaseñor are always prepared to help you. Here are some common dental emergencies and recommended procedures:
What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
- Contact our office as soon as possible.
- We never recommend putting a baby tooth back in as it could damage the developing permanent tooth. However, it is important to examine your child to be sure no fragments of tooth are embedded in the gums, lip or tongue, as well as determine the extent of trauma to other teeth in the area.
What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
- This type of dental emergency requires immediate attention. Treatment and possible re-implantation of the tooth must occur within minutes of the injury.
- Find the tooth! Hold the tooth by the crown (the part you normally see above the gums in the mouth) – NOT the root (the part that is usually in the bone and below the gums). If the tooth is visibly dirty, carefully rinse it in cool water. (Do not scrub it or use soap.)
- Firmly replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. (If you feel that you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container, preferably with cold milk.)
- Call Ridgeview Pediatric Dentistry immediately. You can get the number for after-hour emergencies from our main line message system.
- Remember, quick action is the key to survival of the tooth!
What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
- Call our office right away. Fast action can save the tooth, prevent infection, and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment.
- Rinse your child’s mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
- If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it to our office. You can keep it moist by placing it in a cup of cold milk.
What if my child cuts or bites his cheek, lip, tongue or gums?
- Apply pressure with a wash cloth or clean cloth to stop or slow the bleeding.
- If you cannot control the bleeding, contact our office or go to an Emergency Room immediately.
- Stitches are sometimes needed to stop the bleeding and help the area heal.
What if my child has a toothache?
- Call our office promptly. We want to help you reduce your child’s pain and prevent infection.
- You can rinse your child’s mouth with room temperature salt water and apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth.
- Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.
- The doctors may recommend using over-the-counter pain medications to keep your child comfortable until they can be seen in our office.
What should I do if my child has a swollen face or I think they have an abscess?
- Swelling of the gums or face is the sign of an infected tooth or gums.
- Often, an infected baby tooth may need to be removed to solve the infection.
- Call us at the first sign of infection. Quick attention at our office with a thorough exam, including an x-ray, is necessary to correctly diagnose and treat the problem.
- Do not wait to call us! Dental infections can spread quickly in children.
Can dental injuries be prevented?
- Yes! Reduce dental injury in sports and recreation activities by always having your child wear a helmet and/or mouth guard.
- Always use a car seat or booster seat appropriate for your child’s age. Help teach good habits by requiring that all passengers wear seat belts when in the car.
- Child-proof your home to prevent falls, electrical injuries and choking on small objects.
- Protect your child from unnecessary toothaches with regular dental visits and preventative care.