If your child was injured and lost consciousness, has blurred vision or seems disoriented, please take him/her to the emergency room as soon as possible to be evaluated by a physician. If you believe your child needs urgent dental care either during or after office hours, our staff and dentists are ready to assist you.
Please call as soon as possible so that we may best know how to treat your particular case. Also, READ BELOW for steps you may need to take in certain dental emergencies.
Be sure that the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and that there is no food or other debris trapped inside or around the tooth. You can brush and floss the area as well as rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water to try to dislodge any debris. You may also apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth. Do not put heat or aspirin on the affected area. Give the appropriate dose of pain relief medication and call the office to make an appointment.
Often broken or loose braces or appliances will cause no pain and not require immediate attention but do need to be fixed to be sure further damage does not occur. If straight/sharp wire ends are present, cover them with cotton balls, chewing gum, or folded gauze. Broken pieces may be removed if they come out easily. If a wire is painful to remove or caught directly in the gums, cheek or tongue, call the office immediately.
If a tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection, and reduce the need for future dental treatment. Immediately rinse the injured area with warm water and place a cold compress over the face in the area of the injury to reduce swelling. Schedule an emergency appointment as soon as possible. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, rinse it with water and place it in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water. Bring it with you to the office.
If the face is swollen due to a tooth infection, it could be a life-threatening situation and your child may need to go to a hospital emergency room immediately. Place a cold compress on the face and call our office for a telephone consultation. We will evaluate where the infection is and how it should be treated.
Children occasionally experience cold sores around the lips and canker sores inside the mouth. Products are available at your local pharmacy that will help minimize the pain and discomfort. Be sure that the product is approved for use on children. The sores most often take one to two weeks to completely heal. If the sores are occurring frequently or lasting longer than expected, please call. Some diseases can begin as simple sores and may require prescription medications.
If there is bleeding, apply firm yet gentle pressure to the wound with a clean gauze or cloth. If there are areas that appear swollen or bruised and are causing soreness, apply a cold compress. If bleeding from the wound persists for more than fifteen minutes, your child may need to be taken to the emergency room for further attention. Depending on the extent of the injury, an appointment can be made to assess any injury to tissues around the mouth, the bones, or to the teeth.
If one of your child’s baby teeth is unexpectedly knocked out, DO NOT TRY TO REIMPLANT IT. Doing so may damage the growing permanent tooth. You should contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to evaluate the impact to any other teeth, the jawbone, or other tissues around the mouth.
If a loose baby tooth falls out and bleeds, have your child bite on a clean folded gaze or cloth for ten minutes while sitting and remaining calm. If bleeding persists, repeat this process.
If a baby tooth is losing its white color and turning dark, it is most often an indication of previous trauma. If there is any swelling, tenderness, or loss of white color, make an appointment as soon as possible.
Time is the critical factor in saving a permanent tooth. Contact the office immediately. Find the tooth and gently rinse it with room temperature water. Be sure to hold the tooth by the crown, not the root, and DO NOT scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be placed in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva, or water and bring it to the dentist immediately. The faster you act, the better the chances are for saving the tooth.
If a permanent tooth appears to be losing its white color and turning dark, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. This is most often evidence of previous trauma and signals the death of the tooth. The tooth needs to be examined and action will need to be taken.