If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. We are here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk.
Not all dental injuries require an immediate visit to the dentist. If you are not sure what constitutes an emergency or need to know what to do before seeing the emergency dentist, please read our common child dental emergencies and first aid recommendations.
Contact your dentist if you see a cavity or if the pain does not go away within a few days. If you see a hole in a tooth, do not place anything (e.g., Orajel or Aspirin) on the tooth or surrounding gums. If there is swelling next to the tooth, your child will need to see the dentist as soon as possible.
If your child has a swollen cheek, eye, or face, contact your dentist as soon as possible. If the swelling occurs on both sides of the face or your child is having difficulty swallowing saliva or breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention from the hospital emergency room.
If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call a doctor or visit the hospital emergency room.
Usually a chipped or fractured baby tooth is not urgent.The dentist will most likely want to see your child to evaluate the extent of the damage and take an x-ray to look for problems you may not be able to see visibly.
The dentist will want to see your child as soon as possible to evaluate the extent of the damage and take an x-ray to look for fractures of the bone or nerve damage. If you can find the broken tooth piece, bring it with you to the dentist. If there is bleeding from inside the tooth, call your dentist immediately.
After trauma, sometimes a tooth will be pushed out of place. It can be further up into the gum (i.e., intruded) appearing shorter than the adjacent tooth, further out of the gum (i.e., extruded) appearing longer than the adjacent tooth, pushed backward into the mouth or pushed forward toward the lips (i.e., luxated). Depending upon the position of the tooth, it may need to be repositioned. You should see the dentist as soon as possible so the situation can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.
If possible, find the tooth. Handle it by the crown, not by the root. You may rinse the tooth with water only. DO NOT clean with soap or scrub. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound, try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze or clean cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient’s mouth (beside the cheek). The patient must see a dentist immediately! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Unlike with a permanent tooth, the baby tooth should not be replanted due to possible damage to the developing permanent tooth. In most cases, no treatment is necessary.
If your child has had trauma to the face or head and has difficulty or pain opening or closing his or her mouth, keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.
This is a common occurrence with children and is not considered a dental emergency. Most often, this is the result of a lower primary tooth not falling out when the permanent tooth is coming in. If the child starts wiggling the baby tooth, it will come out within two months. If it doesn’t, contact your pediatric dentist to remove the baby tooth. The permanent tooth should then slide into the proper place.
Canker sores are small ulcers seen on the soft tissue parts of the mouth such as gums, cheeks, and inside lips. They can appear reddish, white, or red with a white ring around them. They are flat on the gums, and there is no fluid that can be expressed from these lesions. They are, however, very painful and can cause children to avoid eating. There is no treatment for canker sores, but you can help your child feel better by giving them popsicles and cold beverages and avoiding acidic or sour food and drink such as orange juice, tomato sauce, ketchup, or citrus fruits. If your child is old enough to use a mouthwash without swallowing it, they can try swishing several times a day with Peroxyl, a mouthwash made by Colgate found over-the-counter. Canker sores go away on their own in about 5-7 days. If your child suffers from frequent canker sores, please talk to your dentist.
Loose baby teeth are a normal process of growing older. Some children do not like having loose teeth and avoid wiggling them and brushing them, resulting in a build up of plaque, sore, bleeding gums and subsequent pain. It is important that your child continues to brush in the area of a loose tooth! The healthier the gums are, the less it will hurt and bleed. You can encourage your child to wiggle on his or her baby teeth when they get loose. It is always better to get the teeth out sooner rather than later.
In addition to getting new teeth in the place of a baby tooth, children also erupt new permanent molars behind all their teeth (without anything falling out) around the ages of 6 and 12. If your child is complaining of pain in the back of the mouth, check for new teeth coming in. This is a normal process, and should not be too painful. Keeping the area clean will help keep inflammation down and reduce pain. This will resolve itself once the teeth are fully through the gum tissues.
If you notice a loose crown, orthodontic appliance, or space maintainer, contact your dentist to have it evaluated and re-cemented as needed. Try to have your child avoid biting on it if possible. If there is swelling around the area, contact your dentist to have your child seen as soon as possible.
Baby teeth often sustain trauma, even if you are unaware of it. If a tooth has gotten bumped, sometimes the tooth will bruise or discolor from the inside.This is usually harmless and will often lighten back up over time. It will not affect the permanent tooth underneath.