Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child's tooth. Here are some tips to help you cope quickly and calmly with a dental emergency.
Knocked Out Tooth
• If something happens to any of a child's primary (baby) teeth, you should take your child to the dentist as soon as you can. If a tooth is completely out, do not try to put it back into the tooth socket. Although it is normal for children to lose primary teeth, an accident that damages a primary tooth could also harm the permanent (adult) tooth underneath.
• Unlike a baby tooth that is knocked out, an adult tooth should be put back into the socket. After you find the tooth, hold it by the crown (top), not the root. If the tooth looks dirty, rinse the root briefly with water. Do notscrub the tooth or remove any attached bits of tissue.
• If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket with a clean washcloth or gauze pad. If this isn't possible, see if the child can hold the tooth under his or her tongue. If that does not work either, put the tooth in a container with milk, saliva, saline (salt) solution, or an emergency tooth preservation kit. If none of those liquids are available, put the tooth in water.
• Take your child to the dentist as quickly as you can. It's best to see a dentist within 30 minutes. Don't forget to bring the tooth and any tooth pieces you can find!
Broken or Cracked Tooth
Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put a cold compress (like an ice pack or a washcloth with ice wrapped inside) on the face to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist right away. If you can find the broken tooth piece, bring it with you to the dentist. Wrap it in some wet gauze or a wet towel if possible. >Read More