Dental emergency information

If a dental health trauma does occur, the best advice is to remain cool, calm and collected. Read and learn the following steps now, and you’ll know what to do in an emergency. Print this page and tape it to your refrigerator as a handy reference. Keep in mind that the advice of a dentist should be sought any time there is an injury to the teeth or mouth. Unlike a chipped or cracked tooth, some dental health injuries are not obvious. Trauma to the mouth can cause damage, which may not be seen, but could result in loss of one or more teeth. So check with us as soon as possible after any injury to the teeth or mouth.

What Should I Do If My Child Falls And Knocks Out A Permanent Tooth?

It’s important to remember to remain calm. Locate the tooth and pick it up by the chewing surface, being careful not to touch the root.
If the tooth is not dirty or broken, you should attempt to reinsert it into your child’s mouth into the empty socket. If you are able to reinsert it, have your child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean piece of cloth or gauze and go directly to your pediatric dentist. If you cannot reinsert the tooth (or if it is dirty or broken), put the tooth in a glass of milk and take it and your child immediately to your dentist’s office.

Chipped Or Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth requires immediate dental attention. Even if the damaged tooth is not a permanent one, it is important to go immediately to the dentist office. Once a tooth has become chipped or broken, bacteria can enter the tooth’s pulp or nerve and cause an infection. It is important for a dentist to evaluate the damage and seal the enamel to keep bacteria out and ward off infection. If you are able to locate the piece of broken tooth, put it in a glass of milk and bring it with you to your dentist. In some cases, the broken piece can be reattached in the office.
  • Apply direct pressure on the bleeding area using a clean cloth.
  • If there is swelling, use a cold compress to reduce the swelling (a Popsicle often works well).
  • Give your child an appropriate dose of Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

Cut/bitten tongue, lip or cheek

A cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek can lead to bleeding, swelling and discomfort. To relieve these symptoms, first apply direct pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. If there is swelling, you can reduce it by applying a cold compress. (A popsicle often works well.) Finally, give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for any discomfort.


In the event of a toothache, the first thing you can do is have your child rinse their mouth with warm salt water. If you notice any swelling, apply a cold compress directly to the affected area. Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for any pain or discomfort. Even if the pain subsides, it is important to visit your pediatric dentist as soon as possible to rule out any problems.