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Dental Emergencies in Children

The following are some general guidelines to follow for common dental problems:

  • If your child's baby tooth gets knocked out, apply pressure to the area if there is bleeding. Contact your child's dentist as soon as possible.

  • If your child's permanent tooth gets knocked out, if possible, locate the tooth. If it is dirty, rinse it in water. Place the tooth back into the socket, or area in the mouth, where it came from and hold it there. Have your child bite down on gauze or a cloth to stabilize the tooth until you are able to get treatment. If this can't be done, place the tooth in a clean holder with milk or your child's saliva. It is important to keep the tooth moist. Take your child to the dentist immediately. There is a chance the tooth can be saved if treatment is immediate. Your child should see the dentist within 1 hour for the best outcome.

  • If your child chips or cracks a tooth, rinse your child's mouth with warm water to cleanse the area. If your child's lip has also been injured, put cold compresses on the area to help with the swelling. If you can locate the piece of tooth, bring it to the dentist. Take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. Immediate treatment can help prevent infection and decrease the need for further dental work.

  • If your child has a toothache, rinse the mouth with warm water. Don't put heat or aspirin on the sore area. Make an appointment with your child's dentist as soon as possible if the pain continues.

  • If your child's dentist is not available for an emergency appointment, go directly to a hospital emergency room.

How can I help prevent dental injuries?

The following are some suggestions to help prevent dental injuries:

  • Have your child wear mouthguards during sport activities.

  • Always have your child in a seatbelt or car seat.

  • Childproof your home to help prevent falls and other injuries.

  • Have your child visit the dentist on a regular basis.

  • Don't let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy.
  • Follow good oral hygiene protocol so that your child's teeth are strong and healthy.