If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Find the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (the white part), not by the root (the yellow part).
Replant immediately, if possible.
If contaminated, rinse shortly with cold tap water and put the tooth back as close to its original as is possible.
Hold the tooth in place. Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position and call your pediatric dentist immediately.
If you cannot put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk or saline. When milk or saline is not available, place the tooth in the child’s mouth (between the cheeks and gums). If your child is nine or under and thinks that they may swallow the tooth, skip this step.
Seek immediate treatment. Time is of the essence for the chances of success of the reimplantation.
Children between 7 and 10 years of age are more exposed to suffer avulsion (a tooth being knocked out of the mouth) due to the elasticity of the bone at this age.
If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, try this:
- Rub your baby's gums. Use a clean finger or wet cold gauze to rub your baby's gums.
- A cold spoon or chilled — not frozen — teething ring can be soothing on a baby's gums.
Try an over-the-counter remedy pain relievers with input from your physician or dentist. Consider giving infants' or children's over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).
Check for any soft tissue damage, and apply cold compresses to the area. Do not chew on the area and note if the tooth is in the same position or not. If teeth that have been bumped turn color, it may very well be because the nerve has been affected. Should this occur contact your dentist’s office.
An abscess or infection that develops on the gums is often referred to as a gum boil. They appear as swollen bumps, often as a result of an infection caused by tooth decay or trauma. The nerve of the tooth is infected leading to swelling in the soft tissues around the tooth.
Lower Front: These baby teeth often times are lost with the tongue moving permanent teeth that were behind into a more forward position. No need to panic, it looks worse than it is, but your dentist should evaluate.
Upper Front: Often times are not lost as easily and could benefit from early removal to let the teeth move forward and not get caught behind the lower teeth.
Gently rinse the area with lukewarm water and place a cold compress on the face to reduce swelling. If you can locate the piece of a broken tooth, place the piece in milk, and bring to your doctor’s office. If more than half of the tooth is broken off, please call your dentist immediately!
Tooth decay develops when a baby's mouth is infected by acid-producing bacteria.
This can occur when liquids or foods other than water are in contact with the teeth for long periods or frequently throughout the day. Natural or added sugars in the liquid or food are changed to acid by bacteria in the mouth. This acid then dissolves the outer part of the teeth, causing them to decay. The most common way this happens is when parents put their children to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice (even when mixed with water), soft drinks (soda, pop), sugar water, or sugared drinks.
Canker sores or Aphthous ulcers are very common and not contagious. They are white ulcerations with red borders that are very painful. They always occur on the inside of the mouth which distinguishes them sometimes from Cold Sores. The exact cause is unknown. They usually heal on their own within one to two weeks, but children should avoid irritating, caustic foods to limit the discomfort. Palliative treatment in the form of over-the-counter ointments e.g. Orabase and Benzocaine or prescription medications can provide some relief.
Herpetic stomatitis is a contagious viral illness (Herpes Simplex Virus) and is seen mainly in young children. This condition is probably a child’s first exposure to the herpes virus, and it can result in a systemic illness with high fever, blisters, ulcers in the mouth, and inflammation of the gums.
Sometimes the blisters are very painful, often forming in groups inside the mouth, around the lips, and sometimes the face. These are contagious and are often fluid-filled. Once a child has a primary infection, it stays in the body and does have the potential to produce recurrent attacks. They usually heal on their own within one to two weeks. Treatment is often palliative with over-the-counter creams and ointments, although severe cases are treated with antiviral drugs.
Children especially can very easily injure their cheek, tongue, lips that have been anesthetized following dental work. They should be carefully observed until the numbness is gone, and frequently reminded to not bite these structures. If damage does occur call your dentist’s office immediately.
Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen alone or in combination, can often aid in the relief of discomfort. If using only one medication is not making your child more comfortable then you can try giving acetaminophen and ibuprofen together in the appropriate dosages. If you need help with dosages, check with your dentist. A diet of soft foods can aid in reducing discomfort however, should symptoms persists do not hesitate to call your doctor’s office.
Advil + Tylenol are better than opioids for oral pain.
The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:
Dental Emergencies-The American Dental Association Q & A
Dental Emergencies-The American Dental Association Topics
First Aid for permanent knocked out Permanent tooth:
There are two types of ligatures that may be used to attach the archwire to the brackets. They may be tiny rubber bands or small, thin wires.
If a rubber band ligature comes off, it may be possible to put it back in place using clean tweezers.
If a wire ligature comes off, it can be removed with clean tweezers. If it is poking the mouth but is not loose, it may be possible to bend it back down away from the tissues with a Q-tip or clean pencil eraser. Let your dentist know about the problem so that they can decide if you need to be seen before your next scheduled appointment.
Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home-American Association of Orthodontists
“Handling Orthodontic Emergencies” flyer from the American Association of Orthodontists:
How To Manage a Poking Wire