Sometimes with even the best of care, dental emergencies happen. And when they do, it can be scary for your child and worrisome for you. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating traumatic dental injuries in children of all ages. We also specialize in the treatment of dental infections resulting from broken teeth or large cavities that may cause dental abscesses.

If you need to contact us, give us a call at 360-588-8238. If it’s after hours you’ll be given contact information to reach Dr. Hill. Many dental injuries and severe infections are time sensitive and require treatment that must not be delayed.

Ask your physician about acceptable medicines for your child. Usually swelling and pain is involved with dental problems. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a pain reliever but it does not reduce swelling. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is preferred because it is a very good pain reliever and it reduces swelling and inflammation as well as reducing fevers. After any trauma, a soft food diet is recommended for a few days.

DENTAL EMERGENCIES (and what to do about them)

Knocked out permanent tooth
This is a true dental emergency. If the tooth stays dry for more than 30 minutes, it will be very difficult to save it. So, IMMEDIATELY replace the tooth into the socket. If it is dirty, gently wash off the root surface before replacing. (Hold the tooth by the crown!) If replacement is not possible, QUICKLY put the tooth in saliva or milk. ALWAYS go to a dentist AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Knocked out baby tooth
Baby teeth should NOT be put back into the socket. Rinse your child’s mouth with water and apply a cold compress to reduce facial swelling. Put the tooth under a pillow and wait for the Tooth Fairy.

Permanent tooth pushed out of place
Rinse your child’s mouth with water. If very loose, push it back into place, if possible. Call us right away, as we may need to stabilize the loose tooth to hold it in place. A cold compress may help to reduce facial swelling.

Baby tooth knocked loose and tooth moved so they can’t bite normally
Gently push it back in place. If it doesn’t move, call us as soon as possible. It may have to be removed if it can’t be repositioned.

Tooth bumped and loose, gums bleeding, but not out of position
Take ibuprofen, but this is not an emergency. The tooth may darken with time. We should see your child within a day or two.

Chipped tooth
Take ibuprofen and call us immediately if the pulp shows. Your child may need a root canal. We may be able to glue the piece back on, so put the piece in milk (or water) and bring it. If the pulp is not visible, we should see your child within a day or two.

Clean the affected tooth thoroughly. Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water or use dental floss to dislodge any food in the gums. Avoid sweets. Take ibuprofen or Tylenol, but DO NOT put aspirin on the tooth or gum. If pain persists, or if your child’s face is swollen, please contact our office immediately.

Swollen gums
This could be a virus infection, food under the gum, or an abscessed tooth. Take ibuprofen, floss and brush well, and see us soon.

Cut (or bitten) lip, tongue, cheek
Apply ice to the injured area to help control swelling. The tissue will often look white like a wet scab. To control bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be stopped by simple pressure, call your child’s doctor or visit the hospital emergency room.

Severe blow to the head
Take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately.

When it comes to any type of dental trauma, we believe it is always better to be safe than sorry. If your child has endured any type of injury to the head, neck or mouth, don’t hesitate to contact us at Playhouse Dental. We’re happy to help!