What to do if Your Child Has a Dental Emergency?

What to do if your child has a dental emergency

Despite all your best efforts to prevent your children from getting hurt, it is very likely that at some point they will still find a way to hurt themselves. In some cases, they may even hurt their teeth or require emergency dental care. While your first instinct may be to take them to the emergency room, it is actually better to call your child’s pediatric dentist in the case of a dental emergency. This is because most emergency rooms are not set up for treating dental emergencies and will likely refer you to a dentist anyway. 

Your child’s pediatric dentist, on the other hand, is able to treat a variety of different dental emergencies. However when a dental emergency happens, you may be unsure of what to do until your child can be seen. To help you in case of an emergency, here is a list of some common dental emergencies, as well as what to do for each case: 


Tooth pain that aches, throbs, or gets worse when chewing is known as a toothache. There are different causes for a toothache, however it is recommended to rinse your child’s mouth with warm water or use dental floss to remove any debris stuck between the teeth. If this does not solve the problem, then Tylenol and cold compresses can be used to manage the pain until your child’s appointment. 

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

When a tooth gets chipped or cracked, you will want to find any tooth fragments and schedule an appointment with our office. In the meantime, rinse your child’s mouth with water to clear out any debris, then use a cold compress to decrease swelling and discomfort. 

Knocked Out Baby Tooth

If your child knocks out one of their baby teeth, this is generally not a cause for concern and you can call our office during normal business hours for further assistance. Most cases of knocked out baby teeth don’t require treatment, however this depends on a number of factors. 

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If your child has one of their permanent teeth knocked out, you will want to find the tooth and get to our office as soon as possible. If possible, try to place the tooth back in the socket and have your child bite down on some gauze. When handling a knocked out tooth, be sure to not touch the root and to only rinse with water. You will also want to keep the tooth moist as you transport it. This means storing it in a cup of saliva or milk, or in your child’s mouth beside their cheek.

When to Take Your Child to the Emergency Room: 

While the aforementioned dental emergencies can all be best handled by your child’s pediatric dentist, there are a few cases where you should take your child to the emergency room instead. You will need to take your child to the emergency room if: 

  • They have absorbed a severe blow to the head
  • They appear to have a broken or fractured jaw
  • They have a soft tissue injury around or in the mouth that is bleeding and won’t stop when pressure is applied
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