Dental emergencies usually occur after regular office hours! For that reason, at Children's Dentistry of South Omaha, we are available to our patients of record in the event of an accident, dental pain, or infection. Please contact the office number for instructions. In the meantime, the following information may be helpful.
Children normally do not complain of tooth pain unless something really hurts. Unfortunately by the time a tooth hurts, it usually signals an advanced problem. Depending on the severity, contact your dentist and make an appointment to have your child seen. You may give your child either Children's Tylenol or Children's Ibuprofen (in its different presentations) making sure to follow the directions on the bottle. Children will seldom, if ever, need a prescription for narcotic pain medicine.
If there is swelling, contact your dentist immediately.
Get the details of how the accident happened, as this provides the dentist with good diagnostic information. Rinse the area with warm water. If the gum is involved and bleeding, apply some pressure to it with a clean wash cloth or gauze. If there is injury to the face, put a cold compress over the cheek or lip in the area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.
A knocked out primary (baby) tooth should never be re-implanted as this can cause damage to the developing permanent tooth. It is important, however, to recover the tooth and account for it and its parts.
A permanent tooth has a good chance of being saved if the following steps are carried out. Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Do not touch the root. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket in the correct position making sure it's not backwards and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or the patient's own saliva. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately. The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the lower the chance of being able to save it.
A bite to the lip, cheek or tongue can look scary but it is not the end of the world and it will heal on its own. Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with clean gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue; contact your orthodontist or dentist. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.
In the event of jaw injury which may involve a broken jaw, go immediately to an emergency room. Trauma this severe will usually involve other areas of concern.
Fold a clean wash cloth or piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; the area must have firm constant pressure for the bleeding to stop.