If your child has bitten his 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.
If your child has something caught between his 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.
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off of his/her tooth, have him/her rinse their 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 mouth, find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap), taking care to only touch 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 generally 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 that your dentist can ensure that there are no fragments of tooth remaining.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his/her mouth with warm water and inspect his/her teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as 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. It is important that your child is seen by a neurologist for head fracture before the broken jaw is addressed.
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have him/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.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.