Emergencies & Prevention
Knocked Out, Chipped or Fractured Tooth
The best course of action involves a rapid response in order to save a tooth, prevent infection, and reduce the likelihood of more extensive dental procedures. We advise that you call us immediately! In the meantime, we encourage you to make an effort to find any broken tooth fragments or tooth that has been knocked out.
Seek to handle the tooth only by the white part (the crown) instead of the root. If the tooth has gotten dirty, rinse it under cold water for a maximum of ten seconds. Do not attempt to scrub the tooth or use any cleaner. Do not take the step of washing the tooth unless it is clearly necessary because it is important to handle the tooth as little as possible.
If it is possible, make an effort to reseat the tooth in its proper place and have your child bite gently on a towel or handkerchief. This action will aid in keeping the tooth in position. If it is not possible to put the tooth back in its socket, put the tooth inside of a clean container along with some milk and some of the child’s saliva. Bring your child and his tooth to our office right away! If the tooth is going to be saved, time is a critical factor.
We highly advise you to call our office at SouthPark Pediatric Dentistry if your child is experiencing a toothache. In the meantime, examine your child’s mouth and see if you can see the area of pain. You may even want to ask your child to point to the exact area of discomfort. Be on the lookout for any food or other foreign material that could be the cause of the pain. The source of pain could also be a baby tooth that is nearly ready to come out or a new tooth, whether baby or permanent, that is beginning to surface in the gums. You should also look for any obvious cavity or hole in a tooth.
If your child’s face is swelling, use a cold compress on the area of swelling and call our office right away. Any swelling that is related to dental issues is a matter of serious concern. The swelling could be related to an abscessed tooth. In this case, the tooth needs to be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid more serious dental issues.
If you are unable to get to the office immediately, here are a few simple treatments that you can try for some temporary relief and comfort:
- Have your child gently rinse out their mouth with either warm water or salt water.
- Seek to dislodge any food particles that are causing discomfort.
- Place a cold compress (never use heat) to the area of discomfort.
- Give your child appropriate treatments of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as prescribed on the medication according to age and weight.
- Never place aspirin directly on hurting teeth or gums as this can produce serious burns.
- Even if the symptoms of discomfort subside, please do not neglect to bring your child into the office for an assessment and to prevent future pain.
CALL 911! If you can safely do so, take your child to the emergency room as quickly as possible. A fracture to the jaw should always be treated with great concern as it could be extremely painful and could cause serious problems if not treated immediately.
How Can I Prevent Dental Injuries?
Here are a few options for reducing the possibility of dental injuries:
- The use of mouth guards during sporting activities can significantly reduce the possibility of oral injuries. A properly-fitted mouth guard can also reduce the likelihood of concussions. Contact our office for information on the best types of mouth guards for your child. We are passionate about keeping our patients safe as they enjoy their favorite sport!
- Always place your child in the appropriate car seat for his age, and require everyone not in car seats to be wearing seat belts.
- Seek to childproof your home to reduce the likelihood of falls, electrical injuries or choking injuries.
- Make it a priority to get your child to regularly-schedule dental visits for cleanings and other preventative care.
The health and safety of your child is our top priority! If you live in the Charlotte, NC area, and want additional information, or if you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office!