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Way Handle Pediatric Dental Emergencies

Read on to learn how to deal with some of the most common pediatric dental emergencies.


Toothaches can be caused by a variety of different reasons, including food stuck in the gums, broken or lost fillings, deep cavities, gum disease, or an infection. Begin treating your child’s dental pain by inspecting the mouth for any obvious issues. Next, rinse your child’s mouth with warm water and thoroughly clean around the painful tooth. Finally, apply an ice pack to the affected area and administer ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve the pain. Contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Bitten Tongue, Cheek, or Lip

Children may inadvertently bite their tongues, cheeks, or lips after being anesthetized or due to an injury. Although swelling and a soft scab may develop, it is part of the healing process and will heal over the next 10 to 14 days. Treat the injury with a cold compress and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for any pain. Consult your dentist if your child bites all the way through the lip or if the bleeding does not stop.

Loose Tooth

If your child’s tooth has become loose or pushed out of place due to an accident, carefully try to reposition the tooth back into its proper position with very light finger pressure. Hold the tooth in place with gauze if it is very loose and consult your pediatric dentist immediately. Permanent teeth may be saved with orthodontic retainers or a root canal treatment in severe cases.

Facial Swelling

Facial swelling can occur after a sting, bite, cut, injury, or a dental abscess. Facial swelling due to dental abscess is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Because the infection must be treated with antibiotics before any dental work can be done, it is important to consult your pediatrician or emergency room physician as soon as possible.

Broken Jaw

Signs of a broken jaw include inability to open the mouth, uneven teeth, and the inability to close the teeth together properly. If you think your child has broken his or her jaw, it is important to immobilize the jaw by wrapping a towel or necktie around the head to prevent further injury. Apply a cold compress to help control swelling and go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

If your child’s tooth is chipped or broken, check for broken tooth fragments and rinse the area with warm water. Place a cold compress on the affected area and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Place any tooth fragments in a cup of milk and see a dentist immediately. An experienced pediatric dentist can seal the injured tooth against infection and may be able to reattach the broken piece.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Knocked-out teeth are a common result of sports injuries and rough play. If your child has a knocked-out permanent tooth, it is essential to act quickly in order to save the tooth. Handling the tooth by the crown, not the root, rinse the tooth in milk and try to reinsert it back into the socket. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, place the tooth in a cup of cold milk and see your dentist immediately. If your child loses a baby tooth, it should not be reinserted. Consult a kids’ dentist in Lone Tree, CO, within 24 to 48 hours.