CHOC Children's

Dental Emergencies

The following are some general guidelines to follow for common dental problems:

  • If your child's baby tooth gets knocked out, apply pressure to the area if there is bleeding. Call your pediatric dentist. Find the tooth, if possible, and bring it to the dentist as soon as you can. It will not be put back into the mouth, but it is important to account for its location. If it cannot be found, sometimes it can be pushed up into the gums or even swallowed. Dental x-rays will be necessary; sometimes chest and abdominal x-rays are needed.
  • Do not brush the tooth off, merely rinse it off with water and then place it in milk, saliva or water. If the tooth is re-implanted within an hour, it can be wired in or held in by dental plastics and it can be saved.
  • If your child chips a tooth, rinse your child's mouth with cold water and put cold compresses on the area to help with the swelling or bleeding. If you can locate the piece of tooth, bring it to the dentist. Take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. Immediate treatment can help prevent infection and decrease the need for more involved treatment or loss of the tooth.
  • If your child has a toothache, rinse the mouth with cool water and apply a cool compress to the child's face in the area of the toothache. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area. Make an appointment with your child's dentist as soon as possible.

How can I help prevent dental injuries?

The following are some suggestions to help prevent dental injuries:

  • Have your child wear mouthguards during sport activities.
  • Always have your child in a seatbelt or car seat.
  • Childproof your home to help prevent falls and other injuries.
  • Have your child visit the dentist on a regular basis.

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Online Resources of Dental & Oral Health


It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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