Pediatric Dental Emergencies

We’ve got your back

Kids’ dental emergencies are stressful—we know from experience. Call us and we’ll walk you through next steps to set it right.

Actionable tips for dental mishaps

You can’t prevent every emergency, but you can prepare for them. Let us help.

Can dental injuries be prevented? For sure. Here are a few important suggestions:
Take a breath. Mouth injuries bleed a lot and seem horrifying, but your child will be ok. Your calm will help regulate your child, who is probably scared and screaming. Don’t try to put the tooth back in, but do call us right away to schedule an emergency visit. We can determine the extent of trauma to other teeth in the area and check that no fragments of tooth are embedded in the gums, lips, or tongue.

Act immediately—quick action is the key to survival of the tooth! Treatment and possible re-implantation of the tooth must occur within minutes of the injury. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown (the part you see above the gums) not the root. Gently rinse visible dirt with clean water (no soap!) and replace the tooth in the socket. Hold it in place with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you feel you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container, preferably with cold milk.

Either way, call us right away to get your child in. After hours you can find our emergency number in our main line message system.
Call us straightaway. 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 in a cup of cold milk.
You’ve got a bleeder. That’s normal, though scary, especially the first time it happens. Apply gentle pressure with a clean washcloth or clean cloth to stop or slow the bleeding. If you can’t control the bleeding, contact our office or go to an emergency room right away. Sometimes stitches are needed to stop bleeding and encourage healing.
Call our office as soon as you can. We want to help you reduce your child’s pain and prevent infection. Older children can rinse their mouth with room-temperature salt water and apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a paper towel or washcloth (don’t use heat). We may recommend using over-the-counter pain medications (no aspirin) to keep your child comfortable until they come see the dentist.
A swollen face or gums might be infected. Call us at the first sign of infection, because dental infections in children spread quickly. Rapid attention at our office with a thorough exam, including an X-ray, is necessary to correctly diagnose and treat the problem. Often, an infected baby tooth may need to be removed to solve the infection.