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Pediatric Dental Emergency

If you can be sure of one thing with children, it’s that they are susceptible to a wide range of dental injuries. Pediatric dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Experiencing one can be extremely frightening, but acting fast can be the difference-maker when it comes to saving your child’s perfect smile. Here’s our rundown of the most common types of emergencies that your children are likely to encounter:


Toothaches are relatively common and can be caused by a variety of factors, including cracked or fractured teeth, tooth decay, or dental trauma.

What can you do?

  • Clean the affected area.
  • If a piece of food is stuck in your child’s gums or between their teeth, see whether you can remove it safely by yourself.
  • Use a cold compress to reduce the swelling.
  • Get in touch with an emergency pediatric dentist.

Tooth avulsion (knocked-out tooth)

An avulsed tooth is one of the most serious pediatric dental emergencies. You cannot re-plant a baby tooth, however, if your child knocks out one of their permanent teeth it's important to seek dental care immediately. If you can get to the dentist within 20 minutes of the avulsion, there’s a very good chance that your child’s tooth can be saved.

What can you do?

  • Find the tooth and wash it for a couple of seconds in water.
  • If possible, re-insert it into your child’s mouth.
  • If this isn’t possible, keep the tooth stored in something wet like milk.
  • Make sure that when you handle the tooth, you hold it by the crown, not the root.

Even if the lost tooth is a milk tooth, you’ll still need to visit an emergency pediatric dentist to get the damage overlooked by a professional.  


When a tooth is displaced within the socket, driven further into the mouth or pushed out of the mouth, it’s referred to as a luxation. Often, these sorts of injuries will heal by themselves, however, it’s always worth having the injury checked out by an emergency pediatric dentist.

What can you do?

  • Apply an ice pack to the area of the mouth which hurts.
  • If your child is experiencing a serious amount of pain, you can give them an over-the-counter painkiller.


Teeth can be concussed after they receive some form of dental trauma, usually a bang from falling over or a sporting injury. Unless the tooth begins to discolor, a concussion generally doesn’t constitute a dental emergency, however, you should contact a dentist just to be on the safe side.

What can you do?

  • Apply an ice pack to your child’s mouth area.
  • Specifically mention to your dentist that they may have a head injury, this may require an emergency room visit

Broken tooth

From chips and fractures to full-blown cracks, a broken tooth can be one of the scariest pediatric dental emergencies to deal with.

What can you do?

  • If the tooth has been chipped, try to find the broken piece and store it in milk.
  • Rinse the area with warm water to keep it clean.
  • Apply a cold compress.

Bitten tongue or lip

Although there may be lots of blood, there’s no reason to get too worried about a bitten tongue or lip, as it’s unlikely to do any lasting damage.

What can you do?

  • Clean the wound with warm water.
  • Use a cold compress to reduce any swelling.

Broken jaw

Broken jaws are generally better treated in an emergency room than by a dentist, although dentists can provide treatment to a certain extent.

What can you do?

  • Use a cold compress to reduce the swelling.
  • Take your child to an emergency dentist or a hospital.

Foreign object lodged in mouth

An object that’s lodged between your child’s teeth is one of the easiest pediatric dental emergencies to solve.

What can you do?

  • Try to remove the object with dental floss.
  • If you aren’t able to get the object out this way, don’t try to use another material to get the object out, go to a dentist.

Final word

Just make sure that you stay calm, collected and positive. Tooth injuries (particularly those which involve blood) can be alarming, but if you keep a cool head, your child will too.

Is your child suffering from a pediatric dental emergency? Contact 1-800-DENTIST to book an appointment with an emergency pediatric dentist.