Dental Emergencies


First, assess whether or not your child's injury involved hitting the head causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment, or if there are any medical concerns. If this is the case, call your pediatrician first or go to a hospital emergency room. Worry about the teeth later.



Bitten or Swollen Lip(s) or Tongue

If your child’s lip or tongue is bitten or swollen, clean the area gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Children's pain relievers may be taken to relieve any discomfort. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.

Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Teeth

Rinse your child's mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. Try to locate and save the broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to our office. A fragment can often be bonded back onto the tooth. Even without the broken piece, a dentist can restore the tooth to its natural appearance with bonding.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Baby teeth: Contact our office as soon as possible. We do not re-implant baby teeth but it is important to examine your child to be sure no fragments of tooth are embedded in the gums, lip or tongue, as well as determine the extent of trauma to other teeth in the area. Bring along the knocked out tooth.

Adult teeth: Find the tooth! Hold the tooth by the crown (top) and rinse it gently using only cold water. Do NOT scrub it nor clean with soap! If possible, replace the tooth back in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can't put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk or your own saliva. Milk is the best choice. Call your dentist immediately.

Teeth that have been knocked out will almost always require root canal therapy, but they can often survive for years if treated promptly. The quicker you act, the greater your chances of saving the tooth.

Loose Tooth

If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled. Baby teeth naturally fall out as their roots are dissolved away by an erupting adult tooth. Loose teeth are often uncomfortable to brush or eat with. Though not an emergency, if your child is uncomfortable with a loose tooth, you can make an appointment and bring them in to be checked.


If your child complains of a toothache, gently brush your child’s teeth and gums, and inspect whether a sore or swelling is present, gums are bleeding or if food is trapped around the teeth. If nothing obvious is observed, schedule an appointment with our office to investigate further. Children's pain relievers may be taken to relieve any discomfort.

Did you know?

The consequences of untreated decay include ER visits for dental pain and lost time at school and work.