At Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Grand Rapids, your child’s health and safety remain our top priority. We strongly emphasize parent and child education, which includes knowing what to do in the event of a dental emergency.
If you have any questions regarding emergency dental care, please don’t hesitate to call us and we will be happy to assist you.
We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk. Below are some tips on dealing with urgent emergency dental situations. Feel free to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.
Learn more on dealing with common pediatric dental injuries below:
Begin by cleaning around the tooth thoroughly. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. 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. Make sure to contact us to schedule a visit as soon as possible.
Cut or Bitten Lip, Tongue or Cheek
First, apply ice to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply a firm cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
Taking action quickly may save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling if the lip was also injured. Recover all broken fragments and place them in cold milk or water and bring it with you to our office.
Loss of a Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place having your child bite on a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk. If you act quickly it’s possible to save the tooth. Because time is essential, come to our office immediately.
Possible Broken Jaw
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, apply a cold compress to the injured area to reduce swelling and immediately take your child to an emergency room. 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.
Lost Baby Tooth
Do NOT re-insert the baby tooth — because of the potential for damage to the developing permanent tooth. If you cannot find the lost tooth, it may be displaced in the gums still. Call our office as soon as possible.
Avoiding Dental Injuries
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your home to avoid falls. Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seat belts for older children. If your child plays contact sports, make sure they wear a properly fitted mouth guard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouth guard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing and visits to our Grand Rapids pediatric dental office.
To learn more about avoiding and treating dental emergencies or to schedule an appointment, contact your Grand Rapids pediatric dentist Dr. Meggan McCone or call our office directly at 616.988.9485.