Handling Dental Emergencies

Knocked-out Tooth:

Baby Tooth (Primary): damage to a primary tooth could also harm the permanent tooth underneath it.

  • If the tooth is completely out, do NOT try to put it back in the socket. Clean the area and apply pressure to control the bleeding
  • Save any pieces of the tooth and call your dentist for further instructions

Adult Tooth (Permanent): unlike a baby tooth, an adult tooth should be put back in its socket as soon as possible.

  • Hold the tooth by the top or crown, NOT by the roots
  • If it looks dirty, rinse the root briefly with water, do NOT scrub the tooth or root
  • Try to gently insert the tooth in its socket and hold in place with a washcloth or finger
  • Call your dentist as soon as possible, as time is VERY important

If you cannot replace the tooth in the mouth then try to hold the tooth in the mouth, place in a cup of saliva, saline, emergency preservation kit, milk or lastly water.

Broken or Cracked Tooth: try to get to your dentist right away and bring the broken tooth piece(s) with you wrapped in a wet gauze or paper towel. Place a cold compress or ice pack on the face to reduce swelling.

Toothache or Swollen Face: any swelling of the face can be a sign of serious infection.

  • If a child’s face is swollen, take them to their dentist or physician
  • Administer a medication usually used for pain (Tylenol, Motrin, Advil)
  • Call your dentist to see if an antibiotic is necessary

Bitten Cheek, Tongue or Lip:

  • Clean the area and place a cold compress on the area to reduce swelling
  • Administer an anti- inflammatory medication for swelling and pain
  • Call your dentist for further instructions

Possible Broken Jaw: apply a cold compress to control swelling. Take your child to your dentist or an urgent care center right away.