Pediatric Dental Emergencies: We Have You Covered
If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. If they need urgent treatment after hours, you can always call our emergency number. We are always here to assist when your child's dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has bitten their lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean their mouth gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the injury is.
Object Caught In Teeth
If your child has something caught between their teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off of their tooth, have them rinse their mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth
If your child's tooth has been knocked out of their mouth, find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it's in place). If you can, put the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with a clean towel or cloth. If you can't return the tooth to its socket, place it in a clean container of milk or saltwater. In either case, call us immediately and/or go to the hospital. If you act quickly, it's possible to save a permanent tooth. Unfortunately, primary teeth are generally not re-implanted. If one of your child's primary teeth has been knocked out, you will want to schedule a visit to our practice as soon as possible so their dentist can ensure that there are no fragments of the tooth remaining.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse their mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children's pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.
If you know or suspect that your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or go to the hospital immediately. In many cases, a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Fortunately, you can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don't let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have them wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, you can prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to New England Kids.