Tips for Dental Emergencies
Check the tooth to see if there is any food trapped inside or around it. Brush and floss the area thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water and try to dislodge any debris. Give the appropriate dose of pain relief medication and call the office to make an appointment.
If the face is swollen because of a tooth infection, it could be a life-threatening situation and your child needs to go to a hospital emergency room immediately. Place a cold compress on the face until you can see a doctor. Call our office for an emergency appointment to evaluate where the infection is and how to treat it.
Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
If there is bleeding apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply a ice compress to the bruised or swollen areas. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, go to a hospital emergency room immediately. Make sure your child is comfortable and calm. Call our office for an appointment to assess any injury to teeth, jawbone or tissues around the mouth.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Save any pieces. Rinse your mouth with warm water; rinse any broken pieces with warm water as well. If there is bleeding, put a clean piece of gauze on the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Use cold compresses on the mouth, cheek or lip near the broken tooth to keep any swelling down. Call our office immediately to assess further injuries, prevent infection and repair the tooth.
Knocked out Tooth
The first thing to remember is to stay calm. Injuries to the mouth, face and teeth happen frequently in children. Remaining calm and taking prompt action will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child’s discomfort.
Second, assess whether or not you child’s injury involved hitting the head, causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment. If this is the case, your child should see a physician immediately. Worry about the mouth and teeth later.
Third, try to stop any bleeding with gauze or a clean washcloth. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, see if they can be recovered where the accident took place.
For permanent teeth – find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not root. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in room temperature water, but DO NOT scrub or handle the root unnecessarily. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by gently biting on a gauze pad or washcloth. If it is not possible to replace the tooth, place it in a cup of milk. If you don’t have access to milk, use water. Call us as quickly as possible, Time is important for saving the tooth; receiving treatment in less than 30 minutes is ideal.
For primary (baby) teeth – teeth should NOT be put back into the mouth because it may damage the growing permanent tooth. Your child still needs to be seen at the office to find out if any other teeth, jawbone, or tissues around the mouth are injured.
Bleeding after a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, repeating as necessary.
Cold or Canker Sores
Many children occasionally suffer from cold sores around the lips and canker sores inside the mouth. These sores usually take seven to fourteen days to heal. There are products at your local pharmacy that will help relieve the pain. Please let us know if these sores occur often or last longer than usual. Some serious diseases may begin as sores and need prescription medications.
Most Common Causes of Injury to Teeth
These are bathtubs, tile floors, coffee tables, stairs, swimming pools, play structures, bicycle riding, trampoline, basketball, baseball, playing in construction zones and scooters. Professionally fitted mouth guards can prevent injuries to the teeth and are offered by our office.