Knowing how to handle a dental emergency could play a very important role in ultimately saving your child’s tooth (teeth).
A serious dental emergency can be caused by a variety of events that result in your child’s teeth being knocked out, broken, chipped or cracked, or even having a jaw broken.
A lesser dental emergency might be something caught between the teeth that cannot be dislodged, or a bitten tongue or lip.
You try to protect your children from cavities, but an injury to a tooth or teeth is another area where your children need guidance and routine protection.
Did you know that two million teeth are knocked out every year?
Knocked out teeth
When a tooth or teeth have been knocked out, it is important to keep and preserve each tooth and get your child to Children & Teen Dental as soon as possible.
To preserve the tooth, it must be kept moist. If dirty, gently rinse with warm water but leave any tissue fragments in place. Then, if at all possible, try to insert the tooth back into the socket very carefully.
If you are unable to do this, preserve the tooth by placing it in a Tooth Preservation Kit (Coaches at sporting events sometimes have these available), or place the tooth in the mouth next to the cheek, or place in milk or water with a bit of salt. After preserving the tooth, get your child to one of our dental offices as soon as possible, within 15-20 minutes is ideal. Good preservation of the tooth will keep it viable for up to an hour or more. If you have access to the Tooth Preservation Kit, the tooth will be viable for 24 hours.
(Encourage your child’s school to have these tooth preservation kits available at all sporting events.)
Your school’s athletic program should also be using mouth protectors. Mouth guards can either be custom fitted at one of our dental offices or may be store purchased.
Cracked or broken teeth
The first step would be to locate any tooth fragments and bring them with you to Children & Teen Dental. To clean the area inside the mouth, use a warm water rinse having made sure there are no tooth fragments between the cheek and jaw. Get your child to one of our offices as soon as possible, and we may be able to bond the fragment to the tooth.
A toothache can run the gamut from a minor irritation to a true dental emergency. First, make sure the mouth is clean and any food that may be impacted is removed by gentle brushing or flossing, then rinse with warm water. Mild pain can be treated with ibuprofen or tylenol (acetaminophen) until you can get your child to Children & Teen Dental offices as soon as possible.
Get your child to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. A cold compress (ice wrapped in a cloth) will help keep down the swelling.