Common Dental Emergencies
Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. Take acetaminophen or Motrin for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible.
Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments and place in water or milk. Seek immediate dental attention.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a container of cool milk or salt water. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
- Remain calm
- Reinsert tooth quickly, or keep moist
- See dentist immediately
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Apply ice to injured areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.
Broken Braces and Wires
If a broken dental appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with cotton balls, gauze, wax or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Contact the child’s dentist. Loose or broken appliances that don’t bother the child usually do not require emergency attention.
Other Dental Trauma
If your child suffers other dental trauma, including trauma to the teeth and supporting bone structures, contact your dentist or go to the nearest emergency room. Children who experience facial swelling or acute dental pain that does not respond to over-the-counter pain medicine should seek advice from the dentist on-call.