Pediatric Dental Emergencies

If you believe that your child has a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. If your concern is outside of our normal office hours, you can call our office number to speak with one of the pediatric dentists on call.  We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

If your child has bitten his lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean the area gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce swelling. Give us a call to help determine whether further treatment may be necessary.

Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth

If your child has chipped or broken a piece of his tooth, have him or her rinse their mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call us immediately.  While it is not essential, please bring the broken tooth fragment if it is readily available.

Knocked Out Tooth

If it is a baby tooth, it is advised to not attempt to place the tooth back in the socket.

If it is an adult (permanent) tooth, attempt to place the tooth back into the socket.  If you are unable to do so, avoid touching the root and place the tooth in a clean container with milk.  Some schools or facilities may have something called a Save A Tooth kit.  In either case, time is of the essence and it is important to act quickly to try to save the tooth.  Call us immediately and/or seek emergency care.

Loose Tooth

If your child has a loose tooth, encourage him or her to wiggle out the tooth using their fingers or a clean gauze.  If they are unable to do so, contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss options.


If your child complains of a toothache, have him or her rinse their mouth so that you can better inspect their teeth for obvious concerns or problems.  You can provide them with pain medication for minor discomfort, though avoid aspirin.  If pain continues, or there is swelling of the gums or cheek, contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment.

Broken Jaw

If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, call 911 or immedately seek emergency care at a hospital.  A broken jaw may be the result of a blow to the head, some of which could be dangerous or even life-threatening.  While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, a cold compress may be applied to reduce swelling. 

Avoiding Injury

You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Below are some ideas to hopefully prevent dental injuries before they happen:

  • Child-proof your house to avoid falls (e.g. stairs, corners of tables or countertops).
  • Keep in mind that hard or crunchy foods can be tough on teeth (such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy).
  • Always use car seats for young children and require seat belts for older children.
  • If your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouthguard.  Ask us about mouthguard options that would be appropriate for your child.
  • Finally, prevent toothaches with good brushing and flossing habits, a healthy diet, and routine dental visits.