Pediatric Dental Emergencies

If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our office at 503-227-0958. We always have a DDA dentist on call and will be here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations; you may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.

Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has bitten his or her lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. If bleeding is excessive or does not stop in a short period of time, go to a DDA dentist for an exam.

Object Caught in Teeth
If your child has something caught between his or her teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. Swish with warm salt water. If you are unable to remove the item and irritation persists, give us a call.

Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece of tooth, rinse his or her mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth
If your child’s tooth has been knocked out completely, find the tooth and gently rinse it with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it’s in place). Do not remove the attached tissue. If you can, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with a clean towel or cloth. If you can’t return the tooth to its socket, place it in a clean container with milk. In either case, call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly, it’s possible to save the tooth.

Loose Tooth
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.

Toothache
If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his or her mouth with warm water and inspect the sensitive area to be sure there is nothing caught in the gum tissue. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area as this can cause damage to the gums. Children’s pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.

Broken Jaw
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our office and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Avoiding Injury
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods as these activities can cause small fractures in the tooth that weaken its structural integrity over time. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children. If your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.