10 Pediatric Dental Emergencies and What to Do Immediately
At Sky Kids Pediatric Dentist in NYC, we know you can’t plan for everything. Littles, with their limited understanding of physics, sometimes take a dive off the dining room table or make contact with a monkey bar on their way to the ground. We are here to accommodate these and so many other types of dental emergencies in NYC.
Before we dig in, a note about prevention: Sky Dental Kids offers custom sport mouthguards for children. This can be a great way to protect the teeth you’ve worked so hard to maintain, especially if your youngster plays a contact sport!
What is Considered a Pediatric Dental Emergency?
There really is a staggering variety of ways in which your child’s mouth can require emergency care. But, not to worry, our emergency pediatric dentists are here to help! Any of the following may require emergency treatment:
- knocked-out tooth (permanent or baby)
- chipped, cracked, or broken tooth (tooth fracture)
- tooth displacement (intrusion or extrusion)
- loose permanent tooth
- root fracture
- missing, loose, or broken restoration
- severe soft tissue (gum, lip, or tongue) injury (cut, tear, or puncture)
- toothache or severe dental pain
What Should I Do if My Child Has a Dental Emergency?
Obviously, this depends on the nature of the emergency, so let’s take a look at what you should do right away in certain types of pediatric dental emergencies:
Knocked-out permanent tooth: This one is the mother of all pediatric dental emergencies, isn’t it? A whole permanent tooth has come out, root and all. Not to worry—your pediatric dentist can fix it one way or another! The dentist may actually be able to repair the natural tooth, but you must get to a dentist immediately. Here’s what to do:
- Locate the tooth.
- Handle it by the crown (not the root).
- Rinse it off.
- Place it back in the socket if possible and ask your child to hold it in place by biting down on a gauze or wet paper towel while you get them to the emergency dentist.
- If it’s not possible for them to hold it in place for any reason, place the tooth in a container filled with one of the following: your saliva, salt water, or milk.
- Get to the dentist ASAP.
Knocked-out baby tooth: For a baby tooth, this may not be an emergency. If it seems to have come out cleanly, then it’s likely just a matter of waiting for the permanent tooth to grow in its place. It’s a good idea to call the dentist and chat about it.
Chipped, cracked, or broken tooth (tooth fracture): This is different from a knocked-out tooth in that the tooth is no longer intact. Call the dentist right away. They’ll do x-rays to see the extent of the damage, which will determine the course and urgency of treatment. (Sky Dental Kids offers safe, easy, lead-apron-free digital x-rays!)
Tooth displacement (intrusion or extrusion): If you haven’t experienced this one yourself, you’ve probably heard horror stories from other parents. The tooth is either pushed into the jawbone or pointing in an unnatural direction. Yikes! But it’s going to be okay. Call a pediatric dentist immediately to get the tooth looked at.
Loose permanent tooth: Permanent teeth can have a bit of mobility, but if a permanent tooth moves more than 1mm, give your dentist a call. If it’s loose due to a trauma, rinse away any blood and stop the bleeding with a gauze or wet paper towel. If the bleeding won’t stop, see a dentist right away.
Root fracture: This probably won’t be visible, so it will likely fall under the toothache category, and it’s usually the result of a trauma. So, if your child has a toothache following a mouth or face trauma, you guessed it—call the dentist!
Missing, loose, or broken restoration: If your child has lost a filling or crown, or if you notice that the restoration is loose, call the dentist right away. Don’t give bacteria time to take up residence!
Soft tissue injury: This is usually not an emergency, even though it can really feel like one for a few minutes! We’re talking about a laceration, tear or puncture to the gum, lip, or tongue tissue. Here’s another one where your instinct will guide you, Mom or Dad. Start by having them rinse with water, and then place a cold compress on the injured tissue (no direct contact with ice). Apply pressure if needed to stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t do the trick, then call that dentist!
Toothache or severe dental pain: Rinse their mouth with warm water and help them floss to make sure there isn’t something stuck somewhere. If this doesn’t resolve the issue and they still have a toothache, call the dentist.
Abscess: There is an infection in the root of the tooth. See a dentist immediately, doubly important if there is any facial swelling or fever.
How to Get Care from an Emergency Pediatric Dentist in NYC
Sky Kids is the best NYC pediatric dentist, and we are here to help when you have an emergency. We’re open on Saturdays and until 6pm on weekdays, because we know emergencies don’t just happen during business hours. If your child has a dental emergency, give us a call right away, and we’ll work them in ASAP!