Emergency Kids Dentistry – How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

To help you in a moment of crisis, we’ve put together a list of common problems that might occur, along with the appropriate steps to take.

It can be tough to see your child experience a toothache, fractured tooth, or another dental emergency – but we’re here to help! When time is of the essence, you need to know what to do and who to contact. To help you in a moment of crisis, we’ve put together a list of common problems that might occur, along with the appropriate steps to take.

At The Dental Anesthesia Center, our goal is to see your child as quickly as possible when they need urgent dental care. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to help them stay safe and make the situation as comfortable as possible.

Common Kid Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Here are some of the most common dental injuries and what you can do:

  • Bit or cut tongue, lip, cheek – We’ve all chomped down on our lip or check before. While the incident is usually minor, there are cases where the cut can be more serious. First, gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress to control swelling. Apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze if bleeding. If the bleeding and swelling persist, call our office right away.
  • Knocked out baby tooth – This is not typically considered an emergency but call our office if you have any questions. Have your child gently rinse their mouth with lukewarm water and make sure they brush their teeth to remove any food that might get up in there.
  • Knocked out permanent tooth – This definitely qualifies as a dental emergency. First, check that your child doesn’t have any other more severe injuries. Depending on how the tooth got knocked out, it may be necessary to call 911 if they have a head injury. Second, save the tooth, if possible. Do not touch the root, only the crown. The tooth needs to stay moist; place it in water or milk until you get to the dentist.
  • Toothache – A child may not complain about their tooth until it becomes abscessed or seriously decayed. A toothache can range from a minor irritant to a significant issue. However, a child may complain that their tooth hurts when only a piece of food is stuck between their teeth. So, have your child rinse their mouth and brush their teeth. If they are suffering from a cavity or abscess, contact your dentist right away. Remember, never apply ice directly to your child’s gums as this could burn the sensitive tissue there. Use a cold compress on the outside of the face to reduce swelling.
  • Dental abscess – An abscess is a painful infection that forms inside the root of a tooth. It creates a pocket of pus that can lead to several issues if left untreated. Some symptoms include severe, persistent toothache, fever, facial swelling, pain when biting, and tooth sensitivity.
  • Lost filling or crown – If possible, save the crown. Have your child gargle and rinse with saltwater and brush the tooth gently to clean the area. Bacteria and other microorganisms can lead to tooth decay and extreme sensitivity. It is essential to get the filling or crown replaced as soon as possible.

Contact Our Office

We value our patient relationships, making it our priority to deliver the gentle dental care you deserve. We work hard to make you feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. If your child is experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office today!

Call Us Today

The only board-certified dental anesthesiologist in Missouri, including St. Louis.

Updated: August 31, 2023

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