Emergency dental situations can occur at any time, so we want to make sure you’re prepared! At Weaver and Stratton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our team is prepared to handle a variety of urgent dental situations and get your child on the path to smiling again. While we realize that these emergencies can be scary, traumatic, and stressful to you as a parent, it’s important that you don’t escalate your child’s fear by panicking. Instead, see below our guide on managing dental emergencies and what steps to take to produce the best outcome.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has suffered a bitten lip or tongue, instruct them to swish their mouth with warm water. If the injury is bleeding, call our office for further instruction based on the severity of the injury.
In the meantime, a cold compress can be used on the outside of the cheek or the lip to reduce pain and swelling.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
Instruct your child to rinse their mouth with warm water to remove any debris or tooth fragments. Apply a cold compress to the outer cheek to relieve swelling and pain.
If you suspect that your child has broken their jaw, it’s important to act immediately by bringing your child to a hospital. These types of injuries can occur due to direct collisions while playing sports, car accidents, or other impacts to the face. Place an ice pack on your child’s jaw and instruct them to restrict the movement of their mouth.
If your child’s orthodontic appliance has broken or become loose, simply call our office to schedule an appointment for repairs. If you already have an appointment scheduled, give us a call before arriving so that we know the repair is needed.
Loose, Poking, or Broken Braces Wire
Loose wires can be very uncomfortable and cause irritation to your child’s gum tissue. If your child’s orthodontic appliance has a loose wire, call our office to schedule an appointment for the wire to be fixed. In the meantime, you can use dental wax to reduce any discomfort caused by the wire.
Loose/Broken Braces Bracket
If an orthodontic appliance has a loose or broken bracket, call our office to schedule repairs. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, place wax over it to alleviate discomfort. If the bracket has fallen off, bring it to the repair appointment.
Object Caught Between Teeth
Objects caught between the teeth can be very uncomfortable and over time may lead to decay or gum recession. To loosen the object, instruct your child to swish their mouth with warm salted water. Afterward, use dental floss to remove the stuck object.
If you or your child are unable to remove the object, call our office to schedule an appointment. It’s important that neither you nor your child attempt to use sharp objects (needles, forks, etc) to remove the object; this can cause damage to the gum tissue.
- Permanent tooth – If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, it’s important for you to act quickly to ensure the tooth can be saved. First, locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown (avoid touching the tooth root). Rinse the tooth with plain water and attempt to reinsert it into the tooth socket. Once reinserted, instruct your child to bite down on a clean cloth to hold the tooth in place. If you are unable to put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a clean container of milk. In either case, call our office immediately and visit the nearest hospital.
- Primary tooth – A primary tooth that is knocked out does not need to be replaced. However, it is important that your child visit us to ensure the gum tissue has not suffered any injuries and no fragments of the tooth remain in the socket. Depending on your child’s age, we may take an x-ray to determine the development of the permanent tooth. If it appears that the permanent tooth will not emerge for some time, we may suggest a space maintainer to prevent neighboring teeth from shifting into the open space.
If your child is suffering from a toothache, contact our office to determine if treatment is needed. Instruct your child to rinse their mouth with warm salted water; salt is able to draw impurities from the gum tissue that may be responsible for inflammation or irritation. Apply a cold compress to the cheek to relieve pain and swelling; you can also provide your child with oral pain relievers.
Do not attempt to use topical treatment as this may damage the gum tissue!
Avoiding Injury to Your Child’s Teeth
Our best recommendation to parents is to attempt to prevent dental emergencies before they occur. By taking the following preventative measures, you may be able to prevent these stressful situations:
- Provide your child with a professional athletic mouthguard for playing sports and participating in high-energy activities.
- Ensure your child knows how to properly care for orthodontic devices by gently brushing and using the proper floss for cleaning around wires.
- Make sure younger children use a car seat and older children always wear a seatbelt.
- Attend all scheduled dental cleanings and follow feedback or treatment suggestions provided in our office.
Soreness and discomfort are common occurrences when children first have their braces applied or their wires tightened. This pain can be alleviated by a cold compress, oral pain reliever, or wax application to the brackets or wires. The discomfort will subside within a few days.
If your child is still experiencing pain after three days, call our office for further guidance.
Relief For Children & Peace For Parents
At Weaver and Stratton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our office is ready to handle your child’s dental emergency. This brings your child much-needed relief and comfort, and as a parent, you get peace of mind – knowing your child is in capable hands! Our practice believes that children come first and we make their comfort and health our top priorities; when they have suffered a dental emergency, we can assure you that they will receive our direct attention and focus.
Working together as a team, we will rapidly form the best treatment plan that brings them relief from pain and stress, while achieving the best possible outcome. Now parents can finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their child will be okay. Call our office if your child is experiencing a dental emergency!