In the event that your child faces a dental emergency, we fully understand just how scary this can be for you both. However, you should remain calm throughout the situation. Our team at Seaside Children’s Dentistry is prepared to accommodate a variety of emergency situations in St. Augustine, FL, and surrounding areas. Simply contact us to find out how to proceed, or read below to find directions tailored to each type of emergency.
Using our guide, we believe your child’s smile has a great opportunity to fully recover from the emergency. If needed, call our office to schedule an appointment for your child!
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If this injury is bleeding, apply clean gauze to allow blood to clot. To reduce pain and swelling, apply a wrapped ice pack to the outside of the lips or mouth. Call our office if bleeding does not stop or you notice signs of infection.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
Instruct your child to rinse their mouth with warm salt water to clean their teeth. Apply an ice pack to the outside of the mouth to reduce pain or swelling. Avoid allowing them to chew with the affected tooth and call our emergency dentist immediately.
Apply ice to the jaw and restrict your child from moving their mouth as much as possible. Depending on the extent of the break, surgery may be required for correction. Visit a hospital immediately and watch your child closely for signs of a concussion:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Slurred speech
- Vomiting or nausea
Object Caught Between Teeth
If your child suspects there is an object stuck between their teeth, instruct them to swish their mouth with warm water to attempt loosening it. Then, use dental floss to help remove the object. If discomfort persists and the item is still stuck, contact our office to schedule an appointment to have the object removed.
- Permanent tooth – If a permanent tooth is knocked out, call our office immediately. Attempt to find the tooth and pick it up by the crown (do not touch the tooth root). Rinse the tooth with plain water and ask your child if they can reinsert the tooth in the socket. If this is successful, give them a clean cloth to bite down on until they reach our office. If you can not reinsert the tooth, place it in a clean container with milk.
- Primary tooth – A primary tooth does not need to be reinserted if knocked out. Simply instruct your child to swish their mouth with warm saltwater. Call our office to schedule an appointment so we can check for remaining tooth fragments and the positioning of the permanent tooth. If the permanent tooth is not yet ready to emerge, we may suggest a space maintainer to keep neighboring teeth from shifting into the open spot.
Make sure your child’s teeth are clean by rinsing their mouths with warm water and inspecting the teeth carefully using a flashlight. Take note of any areas where the gums seem to be red or inflamed. If you see an area of swelling that looks like a pimple on the side of their gums, call us immediately.
To relieve pain, your child may use a cold compress on the side of the mouth with the toothache. Do not apply heat, ice, or topical pain relievers directly to the area because this may cause gum damage. We recommend you schedule an appointment with us to treat your child’s toothache; in the meantime, you can administer pain relief through oral medication.
Avoiding Injury to Your Child's Teeth
By taking preventative measures, you can prevent your child from experiencing a pediatric dental emergency.
- Teach your child not to carry toys, bottles, or other objects in their mouth.
- Do not allow them to chew on hard candies or objects.
- Ensure they wear a mouthguard if participating in sports or activities.
- Make sure children are careful walking or running while wearing socks.
- Your young child should always sit in a car seat, and older children should wear a seatbelt.
- Encourage proper brushing and flossing habits to diminish the risk of cavities or gum disease.
Children wearing braces may experience discomfort when the appliance is first applied or being adjusted. This is normal and can be soothed using ice, oral pain relievers, or wax. If pain continues after a few days, call our office for further guidance.