Dental Emergencies in Children

Kids Dental Emergency FAQ

Dental Emergencies

Contact our office at 215-860-9808 as soon as possible. The baby tooth should not be replanted because of the potential for subsequent damage to the developing permanent tooth.

Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water. (Do not scrub or clean it with soap) If possible, replace the tooth in the socket immediately and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk, saliva or water. Call our office immediately. (Call the emergency number if it’s after hours.) The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Contact our office immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling if the lip also was injured. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, place it in cold milk or water and bring it with you to our office.

Call our office so we can help you and your child. To comfort your child, rinse the mouth with water. Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child’s weight and age, might ease the symptoms. You may apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the face in the area of the pain, but do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.

General Questions

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child first see the dentist 6 months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. Early examination and preventative care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.

Apply direct pressure to the area that is bleeding with a clean cloth or gauze. Ice or an ice pop can provide comfort. If there is swelling-apply a cold compress. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or is not controlled by simple pressure, proceed to the emergency room.

Gently clean any dirt from the injured area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the injured area. If it is possible, try to find the tooth fragments and put them in milk.

Call your dentist!

Dental problems can develop early. A baby risks dental decay when he/she continuously nurses from the breast or bottle. Babies should not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. Fruit juice should only be offered in a cup with meals.

Dental x-rays are safe. Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and digital x-rays are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

Use toothpaste with fluoride and a soft bristle brush. Brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime. The sooner you begin brushing the better. Start soon after your child starts nursing, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or a soft cloth and water.

Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling if the lip is also injured. If you find the broken tooth fragment, place it in cold milk and bring it with you to the dental office.

That is a great question and one I get asked a lot. When choosing a toothpaste, make sure it has fluoride. Most toothpaste is about 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent fluoride. Children under 6 should use toothpaste with a lower amount of fluoride in case they inadvertently swallow a large amount.

Also, look for the ADA seal. This means that the American Dental Association has tested and approved the product for safety and effectiveness.

Lastly, trust your child’s taste. Buying a paste that your child likes makes it more likely that he or she will brush thoroughly and often. And remember, a child needs to use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste to adequately clean his or her mouth.

Teething in Babies

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, often occurs unconsciously while you sleep. It is very common in children as their dentition changes, particularly during the time in which they lose their baby teeth and the permanent teeth erupt.

From six months to age 3, your child will have tender gums when the teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon or cold wet washcloth. Do not freeze teething rings.

This type of sucking is completely normal for babies and young children. It provides security. For young babies, it is a way to make contact with and learn about the world. In fact, babies begin to suck on their fingers or thumbs even before they are born.

Sealant Information

Sealants protect the chewing surfaces. They serve as a barrier against tooth decay. To prevent cavities from forming between the teeth, flossing once a day and brushing with fluoridated toothpaste is very important. Good oral hygiene at home and regular dental checkups along with professional teeth cleaning help fight tooth decay.

It takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. It takes only one visit and is quick and comfortable. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are conditioned to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then “painted” onto the tooth where a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.

Research shows that sealants can last for many years. So, your child will be protected throughout the cavity prone years. With good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits, sealants will last longer. Dr. Radin will check the sealants during routine dental visits and can recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.

A sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the permanent back teeth-the premolars and molars. The resin bonds to the depressions and grooves of the back teeth. It forms a thin covering to keep out plaque and debris and decreases the risk of dental decay.

Teeth are covered with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. The bacteria convert sugar and starch into harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks may cause the enamel to break down, resulting in cavities.