Pediatric Dentistry Emergencies
Toothache: Clean the area of the affected tooth thoroughly. Rinse your mouth vigorously with warm water, or use dental floss to dislodge impacted food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If your face is swollen, apply a cold compression and contact your dentist immediately.
Cut Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to the affected area(s). If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If the bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call a doctor or visit the emergency room.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: If possible, find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, and be careful not to touch the root portion. You may rinse the tooth but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth excessively. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound, try to reinsert it in its socket. Hold the tooth in place by gently biting on a gauze or clean cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup containing the saliva of the person that lost it, or use milk, but NOT water. The tooth may also be carried in the mouth beside the cheek. The person who lost their tooth must see a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Knocked Out Baby Tooth: Contact your pediatric dentist. Unlike a permanent tooth, the baby tooth should not be replanted due to possible damage to the developing permanent tooth. In most cases, no treatment is necessary.
Chipped/Fractured Permanent Tooth: Time is a critical factor, contact your pediatric dentist immediately to reduce the chance of infection or the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth piece, bring it with you to the dentist in a glass of milk, or the person’s saliva. DO NOT USE WATER TO TRANSPORT A CHIPPED TOOTH.
Chipped/Fractured Baby Tooth: Contact your pediatric dentist.
Severe Blow to the Head: Call 911 immediately or take your child to the nearest emergency room.
Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw: Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest emergency room.
Read more about how to prevent dental emergencies during recreational activities and sports with mouth guards.
Please feel free to contact our office for emergency dental care in case you are experiencing any discomfort or if you have any questions about your orthodontic appliance. Below are a few simple steps that might help if you are unable to contact us or if you need a quick fix.
Occasionally, a glued bracket may come loose. You can remove the loose bracket and save it in an envelope to bring to the office. If a bracket becomes loose, call our Houston emergency dentists as soon as possible in order to allow us time to re-glue the bracket.
If a wire is poking your gums or cheek there are several things you can try until before scheduling an office appointment. First, try a ball of wax on the irritating wire. You may also try using a nail clipper or cuticle cutter to cut the extra piece of wire that is sticking out. Sometimes, a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes discomfort. You can use a pencil eraser, or some other smooth object to tuck the offending wire out of the way.
Wire Out of Back Brace
Please be careful to avoid hard or sticky foods that may bend the wire or cause it to come out of its proper brace. If this happens, you may use needle nose pliers or tweezers to put the wire back into the hole in the back brace. If you are unable to do this, you may clip the wire to ease the discomfort. Please call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to replace the wire.
Poking Elastic (Rubber Band) Hook
Some brackets have small hooks on them for elastic wear. These hooks can occasionally become irritating to the lips or cheeks. If this happens, you may either use a pencil eraser to carefully push the hook in, or you can place a ball of wax on the hook to make the area feel smooth.
You may be experiencing some discomfort after beginning treatment or at the change of wires or adjusting of appliances. This is normal and should diminish within 24-72 hours. A few suggestions to help with the discomfort:
- Rinse with warm water.
- Eat a soft-food diet.
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as directed on the bottle.
- If pain persists more than a few days, call our office.