Tips for What to Do in a Dental Emergency

portrait of young woman with brown curly hair suffering from a dental emergency“Mom, I lost my tooth!” This kind of statement can make any parent’s heart skip a beat. While it may be a somewhat joyous occasion for your five-year-old who has been anxiously awaiting a reason for the tooth fairy to come and visit, if this news comes from your teenaged son after football practice, the news isn’t so exciting. In fact, it can be downright scary and should be considered a serious dental emergency.

If your child plays contact sports or frequently wrestles with friends or siblings, dental emergencies are certain to happen at some point in their lifetime. Although wearing the appropriate equipment may help, it’s not always foolproof. The best thing you can do as a parent is stay calm and have a good contingency plan in place. By taking the appropriate steps as soon as the dental emergency occurs, you can help save your child’s tooth. Having a plan will also reduce anxiety and help both you and your child remain composed.

Below are five quick tips to follow during dental emergencies. If you need an experienced emergency dentist to handle your situation, please contact our Denver or Lone Tree dental office online or at 303.534.2626.

Isolate the Knocked-Out Tooth

If the damaged tooth is broken off at the gum line or into several different pieces, put all pieces into a container of saltwater solution. Milk or saliva can also be used if saltwater isn’t available. In cases where the permanent tooth is completely knocked out, pick up the broken tooth by the tip (crown) and rinse it with lukewarm water. Avoid touching the base of the tooth (root). Try to reinsert the tooth back into the socket and have your child gently bite down. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, place it inside a container of saltwater, saliva, or milk. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm saltwater and bite down on gauze to slow any bleeding

Call the Dentist

Calling the emergency dentist as soon as the crisis occurs is important to your child’s oral health. The sooner care can be administered, the greater chance they have of saving the tooth. Most dental offices will work to get a same-day appointment scheduled so treatment can be provided immediately. Once there, x-rays will be taken and a treatment plan established to help restore your child’s smile. The type of treatment administered will depend on the severity of injury.

Apply an Ice Pack

It is not uncommon for soreness and swelling to accompany the injury, especially if the trauma is a result of a blow to the mouth or jaw. Applying an ice pack to the outer cheek or jaw in 20-minute intervals can help reduce swelling and counteract bruising.

Take Medication

Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may also be beneficial for reducing pain and swelling. Acceptable medications include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Read instructions carefully for the appropriate dosages for children.

Organize a First Aid Kid

Carrying a dental emergency first aid kit in the car with you to practice and games is one of the best things you can do as a parent. This kit should include an ice pack, a container to hold the damaged tooth, pain relievers, and saltwater solution. Because you never know when a dental emergency will happen, having your dentist’s number programmed into your phone will also come in handy.

Need an Emergency Dentist? Call Today

Our dentists at Metropolitan Dental Care can quickly and effectively handle dental crises at our Denver or Lone Tree office. If your child is currently experiencing one, please contact us today online or by calling 303.534.2626.