We reserve specific times every day for emergency care. If your child needs emergency treatment, please call us as early in the day as possible. After scheduled office hours, call the office. The answering machine will give you the voice mail number to call Dr. Adams
There are a few things a parent can do to evaluate the emergency and make your child more comfortable.
The first thing to remember is to stay calm. Injuries to the mouth face and teeth happen frequently in children. Remaining calm and taking prompt action will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child’s discomfort.
Second, assess whether or not your child’s injury involved hitting the head causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment. If this is the case, your child should see a medical physician immediately. We will worry about the mouth and teeth later.
Third, try to stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, look for them.
Gently clean or rinse dirt from the area around the break. Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken took to minimize lip or facial swelling. If the fracture is more than one-half of the tooth, see the dentist immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth:
For permanent teeth – Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not root. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in cold water, but DO NOT scrub or handle the root unnecessarily. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by closing on a gauze pad or washcloth. If it is impossible to replace the tooth, put the tooth in a cup of milk, or saliva. Go to the dentist immediately. Time is important for saving the tooth, less than 30 minutes is the best.
For primary (baby) teeth – Teeth are not re-implanted. The tooth fairy will be at work prematurely.
Clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold compress to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Call our office immediately.
Bitten Tongue or Lip or cheek:
If there is bleeding apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply an ice compress to the injured area. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.
Possible Broken Jaw:
Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc., over the top of the head. Apply cold compresses. Go to an oral surgeon or hospital emergency room immediately.
Objects Caught between the Teeth:
Try to remove the object with dental floss. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Do not use a sharp metal object. If you cannot remove it, go to the dentist.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out:
Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, and then repeat as necessary.
Cold or Canker Sores:
Some children will get these periodically. Placing vitamin E oil over the area or other over the counter medications will usually give relief. If they persist or are severe, see the dentist.