First Aid Dental Emergencies
Remain Calm, Quick Action, Keep Moist, See Dentist
Toothache: Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible.
Broken Braces, space maintainers and Wires: If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it can not, cover the sharp or protruding portion with wax, cotton balls, gauze. If a wire is stuck in the gum, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Take the child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don't usually require emergency attention.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it can not be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.
Knocked out permanent tooth: Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot insert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Broken Tooth: Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary.
Other Emergency Conditions
Possible Broken Jaw: If a fractured jaw is suspected, try to keep the jaws from moving by using a towel, tie, or handkerchief, and then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Bleeding after Baby Tooth Falls out: Fold and pack clean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. This may be repeated once; if bleeding persists, see a dentist.
Cold/Canker Sores: Many children occasionally suffer from cold or Canker sores. Usually over-the-counter preparations give relief. Because some serious diseases may begin as sores, it is important to have dental evaluation if these sores persist.
Most of the services here are similar to those of general dentists but with a different approach designed with children in mind. Some of the other services, however, are quite specialized and pertain to children in particular. The very young, pre-teens, and young adults, all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems.