Dental emergencies in children are seen by Dr. Shane Fisher, board certified pedatric dentist.
If your child has had a dental emergency, please give us a call immediately. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number 262-241-0400. We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. Please download this list and print for your convenience.
Once kids start walking, they also start falling! Between ages 2 and 3, children gain motor skills but this will involve many stumbles and makes it quite a dangerous time for baby teeth. Small children are usually at tooth injury risk from falling. Older kids and teenagers are also at risk of harming teeth in accidents in cars and sports. Only a few organized sports require protective mouthguards of their athletes.
Certain medical conditions are associated with a higher risk of dental trauma in children. For example, kids with ADHD who display hyperactive behaviors and impulsivity are at higher risks of falls and accidents that can harm their mouths. If children have front teeth that are flared outward, which may be related to a thumb or finger sucking habit, they are at greater risk of being injured accidentally.
If you witness the tooth injury of a child, it’s important to find whatever fragment or entire tooth may have been broken off in the accident. If a permanent tooth is knocked out of its socket intact, rinse off debris gently but do not scrub off anything from the root of the tooth. Place the rinsed tooth back into its socket as soon as possible and seek emergency medical care. In addition to any broken teeth, a professional should assess any cuts, scrapes or concerns for concussion or broken bones.
If a baby tooth is knocked out of its socket, do not put it back in the mouth. Not only is there risk of the young child accidentally breathing in this insecure tooth, but putting any pressure in the socket could actually damage the permanent tooth developing underneath. Seek emergency dental and/or medical care to determine if there are any other injuries to the mouth, head or body.
When teeth are loosened but not lost, it’s important to avoid any chewing or pushing on that tooth until a dentist can assess the damage. Sometimes permanent teeth that have been knocked loose are held together with emergency treatment called a “splint”. If there are cracks or fractures to the tooth, a dentist may need to treat the pulp or in extreme circumstances, extract the broken tooth.
It’s impossible to predict when a dental trauma will occur. Not every emergency room at a hospital or medical clinic will have a dentist on staff. Having an established dentist for your children is an important way to protect teeth at any age in the case of an emergency.
Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Tooth Avulsion (Knocked-Out Tooth)
A tooth avulsion is when a tooth is completely displaced out of its socket and the socket is found empty or filled with a blood clot. If your child suffers a knocked out tooth, please follow these instructions. If you act quickly it’s possible to save the tooth.
- Find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap)
- Take care not to touch the root of the tooth, only touch the crown.
- Place the tooth in salt or milk and place over ice.
- Or place the tooth in a cup of milk.
- Call us immediately 262-241-0400
Object Caught In Teeth
If your child has something caught between his or her teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off of a tooth, rinse his or her mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his or her mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has a bitten lip or tongue severe enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seat belts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouth guard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.
If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number. 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.Back to Dental Topics
Dr. Shane Fisher
Dr. Shane Fisher, a board certified pediatric dentist, has over 15 years of providing comprehensive dental care for infants, children and teenagers. He has consistently received 5 star ratings throughout social media. He has patients that travel from all over the metropolitan area including Mequon, Whitefish Bay, Thiensville, River Hills, Fox Point, Glendale and other northern Milwaukee suburbs.
If you would like for your child to have a great experience at a pediatric dentist, please call Dr. Shane A. Fisher at The Kids Dentist 262-241-0400 or complete an online appointment request.