Sometimes our kids run into a problem after hours, and while it’s impossible to list all scenarios, here are a few things to consider.
Tooth ache: if possible have the child rinse vigorously with some warm water and examine the area; if there appears to be debris around the tooth, gently attempt to remove with a piece of floss. If a tooth has a hole in it, or if you think the gums look swollen around the tooth, call our office immediately for further instructions. Do not attempt to place aspirin next to a tooth, as it will create a chemical burn in the gums. Treat with analgesics (pain relievers) in accordance with instructions from your healthcare provider.
Bitten tongue or lip: If bleeding is occurring, apply direct pressure for up to 15 minutes with gauze or clean cloth and examine. A cold compress can help decrease swelling, if tolerable. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room. Always give us a call to help you determine the next steps.
Chipped/Fractured tooth: clean off tooth with cloth or gauze and warm water, and check tooth for bleeding. If bleeding is coming directly from the tooth (not the gums) then immediate treatment is likely required. Whether the tooth is a permanent or primary (baby) tooth, a minor chip (with no bleeding directly from the tooth) is generally not an emergency, as long as the child can eat and drink normally. The tooth may be sensitive to air, or hot/cold foods and liquids, so we recommend initially drinking through a straw and eating softer foods until comfort returns. Call us for further instructions.
Tooth knocked out: Ouch! Apply direct pressure to stop bleeding. Use a soft cloth and wipe gently around area to examine. If possible, bring the missing tooth with you. Getting a good look at the tooth helps determine how much (if any) tooth structure may be remaining; sometimes an xray can also help detect tooth and bone fracture. If the child loses consciousness at any time, go directly to your nearest emergency room. For primary (baby) teeth, we always leave the tooth out of the mouth; for permanent teeth (depending on how long they have been outside of the mouth), there may be a possibility for re-implanting them. When handling a permanent tooth outside of the mouth, hold tooth by its top (the crown) and never the root. If transporting the tooth, try to keep in a cup or container with the child’s own spit; otherwise, place in milk, and only use water as a last resort. If the child is old enough, the tooth can remain in the child’s own mouth (but tell them not to swallow it!). Call us for further instructions.