Best Way to Handle Dental Emergencies for Your Child

Anytime there is an emergency involving your child, it can be scary. However, dental emergencies do happen. Here are some of the most common types of dental emergencies, and what you should do in the event one of these occur.

Common Dental Emergencies

It may be alarming when these things happen, but the experts at Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry have seen it all. We can help you determine the next steps when dealing with troublesome teeth.


If your child is experiencing a toothache, it’s important to determine the cause for the pain. Common causes of toothaches include:

  • Impacted food
  • Tooth fracture
  • Tooth decay (cavity)
  • Wisdom teeth eruption

First things first, have him/her rinse with warm water and check for any food stuck between their teeth. Food can be dislodged by flossing or brushing carefully. If the pain continues, or you notice the gums starting to swell, you should call us at 704-377-3688 and make an emergency appointment.

Bitten or cut lip, tongue, or cheek

We’ve all been there! Accidentally biting your tongue or cheek can be painful. If your child is experiencing a laceration on their lip, tongue, or cheek, apply a cold compress. Ice will help reduce swelling. Consider giving your child a popsicle. It can help reduce any inflammation, as well as raise your child’s spirits!

For a cut that is bleeding, place pressure on it with a small piece of clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 to 20 minutes, you should take your child to the emergency room or urgent care.

A knocked-out tooth

When dealing with a knocked-out tooth, the first thing to do is determine whether it was a baby tooth or a permanent, adult tooth.

If a baby tooth was knocked out, have your child bite down on some clean gauze to stop the bleeding. We recommend bringing them to Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry to ensure that everything is OK.

If it was a permanent tooth, you’ll need to follow the same steps – but you’ll also want to track down the tooth and bring it to our pediatric dentist office. If you find the tooth, make sure rinse it off with water and to handle it by the crown instead of the root. it’s also important that you try to find and bring the tooth with you. If you are quick to get to the dentist, there is a better chance of the tooth being re-implanted.

Broken tooth

In the case of a broken or chipped tooth, the guidelines are similar to having a tooth knocked out. Carefully rinse your child’s mouth out with water and apply ice or an ice pack. Immediately contact your pediatric dentist to make an appointment to prevent infection or the need for more serious dental work. If you’re able to locate the piece of tooth that broke off, bring it with you to your local Harrisburg pediatric dentist.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s dental emergencies, or simply want to come in for a check-up, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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