A Parent’s Guide to Emergency Dental Care

A Parent's Guide To Emergency Dental Care (1)

What counts as a dental emergency and how should you handle it as a parent? It’s stressful to have to make such a call for your child in the moment. This guide can help you make an informed decision and give you an idea of what to expect before it happens.

Always keep your dentist’s emergency information easily accessible, so you can contact him or her quickly in case of emergency.

It’s a Dental Emergency When:

1. A Permanent Tooth is Knocked Out

Find the tooth right away and hold it by the crown, not the root. Rinse with water if it appears dirty, then attempt to reinsert the tooth back into the socket. Have your child bite down on clean gauze to keep the tooth in place. If you are unable to re-implant, store the tooth in milk or water.

Call your dentist IMMEDIATELY to make an emergency appointment. The quicker the tooth is reimplanted, the better the chance of saving it.

 

2. A Tooth is Chipped, Fractured or Displaced

Gently rinse the damaged area of the mouth with warm water, then apply a cold compress where bruised. Find and save any broken tooth fragments in cold milk or water.

Call your dentist IMMEDIATELY to make emergency appointment.

 

3. A Severe Blow to the Head or a Jaw Fracture

Go to the nearest emergency room or contact an emergency medical team immediately.

A severe head injury can be life-threatening, so don’t hesitate to get help for your child as soon as possible.

 

4. There is Facial Swelling

Continue to apply cold compresses to the affected areas in order to reduce swelling.

If swelling persists, call your dentist to make emergency appointment.

 

5. There is Uncontrolled Bleeding From the Mouth

Continue to apply pressure to the wound to slow and stop the bleeding.

Call an emergency medical team or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.  

 

If any of these situations arise and you are unable to reach your dental office for some reason, please go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility immediately.

 

It Is Not a Dental Emergency When:

1. A Baby Tooth is Knocked Out.

Usually, it is better not to reinsert a baby tooth once it has been knocked out, as it can interfere with your child’s emerging permanent teeth. If a baby tooth has been knocked out prematurely, rinse your child’s mouth with water and make an appointment to see your dentist soon.

 

2. Your Child Has a Toothache.

If your child has a toothache:

  • Carefully clean all teeth and gums in the sore area, checking for stuck food or debris
  • Have your child rinse their mouth vigorously with warm salt water
  • Apply a cold compress if his or her face is swollen
  • Give your child Tylenol or Motrin for pain
  • Call during office hours to make an appointment to see the dentist soon

If severe pain or swelling persists, go to the emergency room or call your dentist to make an emergency appointment.

 

3. Your Child Has a Cut Lip, Tongue, or Cheek

Apply pressure to the damaged area with clean gauze or a cloth.

If bleeding continues, see #5 above and contact your dentist.

 

4. There is Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out

Apply pressure with clean gauze or a cloth, and have your child bite the gauze.

If bleeding continues, see #5 above and contact your dentist.

 

5. A Red Blister Appears on the Gum

If a red blister has appeared on the gum at the space where the tooth is erupting, it is called an eruption cyst, and is a normal occurrence. Allow the tooth to erupt on its own and do not interfere.

 

Always try to keep calm and take action if you think your child may have an emergency, dental or otherwise. Remember these steps and stay present to reassure your child that you are there with them, no matter what is happening.

 

 

Add a Comment