It happens to all of us at some point or another. A fall, sports injury, or other accident leads to a dental emergency, like a knocked-out tooth, broken tooth, or severe toothache. Children are very likely to suffer these accidents due to their more physically active lifestyles and fondness for sugar. It can be a scary experience, especially if you’re not sure what to do when such a situation arises.
Here are some basic guidelines on what to do if your child has a dental emergency:
- Knocked out permanent tooth: Hold the tooth by the crown (the part of the tooth that is normally visible), not the root. Do not attempt to clean or scrub the root as this may damage the root cells. If possible, gently try to reinsert the tooth into its socket. If you cannot re-insert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva (tooth must be completely submerged in liquid). See Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry immediately so that it can be re- implanted. Time is crucial in saving your child’s tooth.
- Loose or fractured permanent tooth: Call us right away. We will have you assess whether the injured tooth is also loose, which would necessitate immediate attention. If it is not, we will see your child in our office the next business day to restore the tooth.
- Knocked out or fractured baby tooth: Immediate treatment is usually not necessary. Call our office or schedule your child for an emergency exam with us on the next business day.
- Trauma to the face/head or possible jaw fracture: Go to your nearest ER immediately to rule out concussion or internal bleeding in the head. The doctors will assess with a thorough exam and images to determine if any treatment is needed. If you are told your child has a jaw fracture or any other trauma to the mouth, call us right away.
- Toothache or Abscess: Call our office right away if your child’s face looks swollen from the outside or is having frequent spontaneous tooth pain. Antibiotics may need to be called in. Administer Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed for pain. If there is no swelling or constant pain, schedule an emergency exam with us on the next business day.
- Facial laceration: Go to the nearest ER for immediate attention.
- Busted Lip or Frenum Tears: Apply an ice pack to the lip to reduce swelling/bleeding. This will help you better visualize the injured area so that you can see if a tooth is loose or displaced. Administer ibuprofen for pain/swelling. Call our office ASAP!
- Gum laceration: Usually no treatment is needed but call our office or schedule an emergency exam for the next business day.
- Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out: Have your child bite on gauze and hold pressure on it for a few minutes or until the bleeding stops. Cold, soft foods like ice cream can help the bleeding to stop. Keep your child on a soft diet and avoid using straws for the day.
If there is one commonality among all of these emergency procedures, it’s to get in contact with an emergency pediatric dentist near you as soon as possible.
Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry is here to help! We understand how frightening and painful dental emergencies can be for kids. Don’t wait, call us right away at 337-443-9944 if your child has a dental emergency, day or night.