Pediatric Dental Emergency

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Pediatric Dental Emergency

Few things are more alarming than watching your child have some type of dental emergency. If one should ever occur, you will need to know how to handle the situation until you can take your child for an emergency dental appointment.

Some situations that always qualify as a dental emergency:

  • Severe dental pain

  • Uncontrollable bleeding of the gums or mouth

  • Broken or knocked out tooth

Bitten Tongue or Lip

If your child bites their tongue or lip so severely that it results in bleeding, gently clean the bite using water and apply a cold compress to the area to help reduce swelling. You can also use a cold washcloth or a cold, wet towel.

Object Stuck Between Teeth

Children always seem to be playing with whatever object they happen to pick up at any given time. And they frequently place that object in their mouth and chew on it. If your child get something caught in their teeth, you can probably remove it by gently using some dental floss.

Never use anything made from metal or plastic to remove a stuck object. Avoid plastic as well, since this could fracture and injure your child’s mouth or gums. If you cannot use dental floss to remove the item, contact your dentist.

Broken, Fractured, or Chipped Tooth

This can be especially alarming, as damage to the teeth can invite tooth decay, leading to a toothache or the need for a dental filling.

If your child has damaged one of their teeth, have them use warm water to rinse their mouth, then apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. If part of a tooth broke off, try to find it and save it. Contact us right away.

Knocked Out Tooth

Baby teeth cannot be placed back into the mouth, but adult teeth can. If your child has an adult tooth get knocked out, try to locate it and gently rinse it with water, without scrubbing. Only grasp the tooth by the crown, which is the part normally visible above the gumline.

Place the knocked out tooth in a container with milk in it. Contact us as soon as possible, or go to the emergency room. If you take action quickly, the tooth can probably be saved.


If your child starts complaining of having a toothache, begin by rinsing their mouth with warm water. Take a look at their teeth to see if anything is stuck between them. If they continue to be in pain, ease it using a cold compress. Avoid the application of heat, aspirin, or any type of topical pain reliever that could damage the gums.

You can provide them with an oral pain reliever. Schedule an emergency dental appointment immediately.

Preventing Injuries

Although accidents cannot be completely prevented, particularly among active younger children, you can still help your child avoid some types of dental emergencies. Some things that you can do include child-proofing your house to reduce the likelihood of falls. Don’t let your child chew on popcorn kernels, ice, or other hard foods and objects.

If your child participates in sports, they should be wearing a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Contact us to have a custom-fitted mouthguard created especially for your child. And be sure to prevent cavities by having your child regularly brush and floss their teeth, as well as keep up with their routine dental exam and cleaning appointments.