If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. For urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number. We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk.
Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.
Bitten lip or tongue
If your child has bitten a lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
Object caught in teeth
If your child has something caught between the teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, chipped, or fractured tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off a tooth, have him or her rinse the mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
If your child’s tooth has been knocked out of his or her mouth, find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap). Take care to touch only the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it’s in place).
If you can, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with a clean towel or cloth. If you can’t return the tooth to its socket, place it in a clean container with milk. In either case, call us immediately and/or go to the hospital.
If you act quickly, it’s possible to save a permanent, or adult tooth. Unfortunately, primary teeth are not re-implanted. If one of your child’s primary teeth has been knocked out, you will want to schedule a visit to our practice as soon as possible so Dr. Kim can ensure there are no fragments of tooth remaining.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his or her mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease it.
Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, because this can cause damage to the gums. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or go to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children.
If your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.