We all understand accidents and emergencies happen. Most dental accidents are not as bad as they seem. Staying calm is the most important part. If you stay calm, it will help your child stay calm and feel better about the situation. Keep in the mind that the mouth bleeds very easily, making things look worse than they are. The good news is that the mouth also heals very quickly.

If an accident happens during office hours, please call our office and immediate attention will be given to your situation. You will be seen as soon as possible. If the accident happens after office hours, please give our office a call and follow the instructions provided. Dr. Nathan should call you back very quickly, as your call will be returned as soon he possibly can. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

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Some Common Dental Emergencies

Teeth can hurt for lots of different reasons. You use your teeth everyday…eating, talking, and just moving your mouth around. Therefore, things in your mouth (like teeth) can hurt from time to time. Some toothaches are normal…like a baby tooth getting loose or a new permanent tooth coming into the mouth. Some can be serious…like a cracked tooth, a large cavity, or an infection.

If you do have a toothache, the first step would be to gently clean the area around the tooth, rinsing the mouth with lukewarm water, and gently brushing or flossing to remove any food particles that may be lodged in the tissue around the tooth. You can also give your child over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do NOT place aspirin directly on the affected area. It will burn the gum tissue. If your child is still experiencing pain (or severe pain), and it does not go away in a timely manner, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Lips, cheeks, gum tissue, and the tongue all bleed very easily, making injuries to these areas appear worse than they are. The good news is these areas also typically heal very quickly. Apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze to stop any bleeding and apply ice to help reduce swelling. If the bleeding will not stop, call our office, your physician, or visit your local emergency room if needed.
This is a very common accident that happens to many children. Do NOT try to replace the tooth into your child’s mouth. We do not replace baby teeth into children’s mouths, as this could potentially damage the permanent tooth that is developing in this area. If this does happen, please try to save the tooth or tooth fragments that have come out so Dr. Nathan can look at this. Please call our office to schedule an appointment as needed.
If your child loses a permanent tooth, please find the tooth and call the office immediately. It is crucial to replace the permanent tooth into its socket as quickly as possible by following these steps….

  • If the tooth is dirty, try to only handle the tooth by the crown (the part you can see in your mouth, NOT the root) and gently rinse it off with water. Do NOT scrub the tooth root. This could damage good cells still intact on the root.
  • Try to place the tooth back in its socket and have your child gently bite down on a napkin or t-shirt to help keep it in place until you can get to the office.
  • If you can not replace the tooth in its socket, gently place the tooth in a small container of milk or have your child spit (which will be bloody but that’s ok) into a cup with enough spit to cover the tooth completely until we can try to re-implant the tooth at our office.
This is another very common accident that happens with many children. The treatment is generally the same for baby teeth and permanent teeth. If you can find the piece, save it and bring it to the office. We will not place this broken piece back onto the tooth, but it does help us determine what happened. If you cannot find it, that is perfectly fine as well. Usually you can’t find it. As with any injury, this tooth may be very sensitive to touch, warm things, or cold things (even just breathing in air). If it is a small to medium chip, then the sensitivity should subside in a few hours (or a day or two at the most). Larger chips may involve the the nerve (or pulp) of the tooth and may be more painful. Giving Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol right away would help with any pain or soreness. If the chip is large enough to cause concern, please call our office as needed to schedule an appointment. If it is after hours, Dr. Nathan will call you back very quickly.