Dental Emergencies for ChildrenCall us as soon as possible at: (801) 571-5800
Dental emergencies can be scary, with pain and blood, and they’re not unusual in children of any age from toddlers to teens. Knowing what to expect, as well as a bit of first aid to help ease things while making the trip to the dentist, can make it much less frightening for the parent or caregiver as well as the child involved.
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What do I do if my child gets a tooth displaced?
Trauma to a tooth or teeth can stop short of actually knocking a tooth out, but can loosen and angle them in the jawbone. If it’s a primary tooth in a young child, often all that’s needed is just straightening the tooth in the socket and it’ll be fine. Call your dentist, though, to see whether he or she thinks a visit is a good idea or falls under dental emergencies. Displacement of a permanent tooth always needs immediate treatment both for the sake of the tooth or teeth and to check for any possible jaw fracture. Put a cool, moist compress on the area, give an appropriate painkiller, and call your dentist or go to the local emergency room if the dentist isn’t available.
What if my child's face is swollen or began swelling?
This is a sign that there could be an infected or abscessed tooth. This situation can turn into a medical emergency rather quickly and need dental attention as quickly as possible to prevent any serious complications.
What if my child has a toothache?
You will want to visit the office promptly. Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child’s weight and age, might ease the symptoms. You may apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the face in the area of the pain, but do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.
What do I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?
If your child is 6 or older there is a good chance that the tooth lost is an adult (permanent) tooth. This situation requires immediate attention. Call our office as soon as possible! There is a very narrow window to replant the lost tooth before it becomes hopeless to do so. If the child will let you, place the tooth back in the socket it came out of and have someone hold it in place as you travel to our office. If you cannot replant the tooth it would be best to place it in milk and call us as soon as possible. Our Phone number is:
If the child is 5 or younger there is a good chance that the tooth is a baby (primary) tooth. If this is the case bring your child to visit us as soon as you can for an evaluation. Often if one tooth is displaced, other teeth could affected as well. We need to see your child to make sure there are no long term consequences to the trauma.
What if my child has a broken tooth?
These dental emergencies are usually the result of impact to the tooth. If it’s painful, give a pain reliever such as Tylenol. Wash the area with warm water and put a cool, moist compress, such as a paper towel or wet gauze, on it. Go to your dentist or, if it’s after hours, go to the emergency room.
Can dental injuries be prevented?
Your child’s risk for dental injuries can be reduced greatly by following a few simple suggestions. First, reduce risk for severe oral injury in sports by wearing protective gear, including a mouthguard. Second, always use a car seat for young children and require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, child-proof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries. Regular dental check-ups provide Dr. Shepherd an opportunity to discuss additional age-appropriate preventive strategies with your child.