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First Aid for Dental Emergencies


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 Motrin for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible.

Toothache Lion.jpg

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

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

Cut Lip Hippo.jpg

Broken Tooth

Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. If the chip is severe enough to expose the nerve of the tooth (usually seen as a red dot inside the crown of the tooth) seek immediate dental treatment.

Broken Tooth Elephant.jpg

Broken Braces and Wires

If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with dental wax, cotton balls, gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Take the child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don’t usually require emergency attention.

Broken Braces Giraffe.jpg
Knocked Out Tooth Monkey.png

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 he child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.



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, then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room.



Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out:

Fold and pack a 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 a dentist.



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 sores, it is important to have a dental evaluation if these sores persist.



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