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How to Handle a Dental Emergency

added on: June 26, 2019
boy getting dental exam

Dental emergencies, which include any injury to the teeth, gums, or mouth, can be scary. When one happens to your child, it can be even scarier. At our Chattanooga pediatric dental office, we understand, and we are here to help give you a few tips on how to handle several types of dental emergencies

A Knocked Out Tooth

If this happens, the first thing you should do is remain calm. This can help both you and your child. Second, make sure there are no other serious injuries. Once you confirm all is well, you can start to work on saving that tooth — but only if the tooth is permanent. If a baby tooth is lost, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga as soon as possible to make sure no permanent teeth were damaged. If the lost tooth is permanent and assuming both the roots and the crown were knocked out, try the following steps:

  1. Only touch the top of the tooth to limit damage to the roots. 
  2. Gently rinse it with water. 
  3. Attempt to insert it back into the socket. 
  4. Control any bleeding with gauze. 
  5. Call a dentist as soon as possible. 

If you’re unable to get the tooth back into the socket, put the tooth in milk or a cup of spit — never store it in water! Then get to a dentist immediately. 

Lost Filling

If your child loses a filling, they may experience some pain. An over-the-counter pain reliever or oral anesthetic can help reduce discomfort. You can also purchase dental cement in many pharmacies and grocery stores to temporarily fill the hole. However, this is only a short-term solution, and you should get your child to the dentist ASAP.  

Chipped/Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth might result from anything like a popcorn kernel or a fall. If this happens, the first thing to do is have your child rinse his mouth out with warm water, and find any lost pieces, if possible, and rinse them off, too. Then apply gauze and slight pressure if there is any bleeding, and a cold compress to the cheek to ease the pain. Get to your dentist to fix the chip. 

Toothache

A toothache is the mouth’s way of letting us know that something isn’t right. Ease the pain and help keep other problems away by first rinsing with warm salt water. Salted water can help decrease swelling and keep dangerous bacteria from attacking. If the pain is severe, try placing a cold compress against the cheek or apply a bit of clove oil to the sore spot. Again, get to your dentist as soon as you can.  

One of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency in the first place is to maintain regular visits to our pediatric dental office in Chattanooga. Regular checkups and cleanings allow us to catch and treat any potential problems before they can turn into an unexpected dental emergency. However, anything can happen at any time, so if you do experience an emergency, give us a call right away. 


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