What is a pediatric dental emergency?
Emergency dentistry is available to patients who have experienced a dental injury or accident, or are in severe dental pain and discomfort. The goal of emergency dental care is to get patients out of pain quickly and back to optimal oral health as soon as possible.
Between contact sports and exploring their worlds, children can have an accident at any time. That’s why pediatric dentists will often leave openings in their schedules for same-day emergency appointments, so they can address your child’s needs as soon as possible.
Did you know…
More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year in both children and adults.
What to do for your child when they’re experiencing a dental emergency
Keep Calm So They Stay Calm
It’s easy to panic and feel anxious when your child injures their mouth. But try your best to stay calm and collected. Panicking will only stress your child, so keep a clear head, assess the severity of the situation, and get things under control.
Try To Control Any Bleeding
If your child’s mouth is bleeding, use clean gauze, cotton balls, or paper towels to absorb the blood, and apply gentle but firm pressure to control the bleeding. Be aware that oral injuries can bleed quite heavily, but if you apply pressure to the area, or your child gently bites down on some gauze, the bleeding should slow within a few minutes.
Take Steps To Reduce Swelling & Pain
You can have your child take over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Motrin to help with pain and inflammation. Applying an ice pack externally to the cheek near the affected area can also help numb the site and reduce swelling.
Make sure you call us right away to schedule an emergency appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist. We can help you determine the severity of the situation and whether or not your child needs to be seen immediately.
The importance of prompt emergency care
Cut Or bite On Cheek, Lip, Or Tongue
maxillary frenum tear
Did you know…
Putting a knocked out tooth in milk, not water, can preserve the root while you head to your emergency appointment.
Have questions about emergency dentistry? Find answers here.
What should I do if my child knocks out a tooth?
Knocked-out baby teeth are not usually replaced, even if they’re lost prematurely. If it’s a baby tooth, your child will need to come into our office to have their mouth examined and cleaned to prevent infection, and to get a “space maintainer.” This prosthetic will maintain the proper gap between their teeth, preventing the adjacent teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket.
For an adult tooth, though, you need to get help immediately. Recover the tooth, rinse it, and put it in a container of cold milk to keep it moist. Then, come to our office immediately. Don't spend too much time treating pain or bleeding. Your child’s tooth must be re-attached within 1-2 hours for it to be saved, so time is of the essence. Our Ardsley dentists can treat your child’s pain when they get to our office.
What should I do if my child’s dental work falls out?
Collect the filling, crown, or other piece of dental work and place it in a plastic baggie. Then, call us for a same-day appointment, and make sure to bring your child’s dental work in with you. It may be possible to reattach a crown instead of completely replacing it.
What should I do about a severe toothache?
A severe toothache could indicate that your child has a deep cavity or an infected tooth. You should schedule a consultation at our office right away, as these are both serious dental emergencies that will only get worse without proper treatment.
What should I do if my child has chipped, broken or cracked a tooth?
First, treat their discomfort and bleeding. Then, contact us for a same-day appointment. Even minor tooth damage can cause hairline fractures and these fractures could lead to infections and other complications. After consulting with your child’s dentist, they can determine the best treatment for restoring the damaged tooth, and ensure your child’s smile remains healthy and strong.
What should I do if my child has a loose tooth?
If a baby tooth has come loose and it’s not due to an oral injury, you don’t have to do anything. Baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, so this is natural.
However, if one of their teeth becomes loose and is bleeding after an oral injury, it may not be ready to fall out yet. The best thing to do is to get a consultation with your child’s dentist to have their mouth examined, and determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it should be replaced with a space maintainer.
Did you know…
Losing a baby tooth too early can be a dental emergency.