Emergency Dental Care

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Apply ice to bruised areas. If bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean folded gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, keep it moist and transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. See Dr. Vaughn IMMEDIATLELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth. Remember these steps:

  • Remain Calm
  • Reinsert Fast or Keep Moist
  • See Dentist


Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris. DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain. See Dr. Vaughn as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth

Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compress on the face over the injured area. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. See Dr. Vaughn immediately.

Other Emergency Conditions:

Possible Broken Jaw

If a fractured jaw is suspected, try to keep the jaws from moving by using a towel, tie, or handkerchief wrapped over the head and under the jaw (keep easily removable in case the child becomes nauseous) and then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out

Fold and pack clean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. This may be repeated once; if bleeding persists, see Dr. Vaughn.

Cold/Canker Sores

Many children occasionally suffer from "cold" or "canker" sores. Usually over-the-counter preparations give relief. Because some serious diseases may begin as sores, it is important to see Dr. Vaughn if these sores persist.

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