What To Do If You Have A Dental Emergency?

What To Do If You Have A Dental Emergency?

Team Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies are never part of your plan. They just happen and do so more often than you’d imagine. Depending on the circumstance, these emergencies can cause a lot of distress for kids and parents alike. But, knowing what to do when you are faced with this situation can make handling it a lot easier. 

Below is a list of the most common types of dental emergencies - and what you can do if you have one. 


Toothaches are very common and can signal many different situations - some more serious than others. For example, cavities, wisdom teeth eruption, tooth trauma, tooth fracture, or even impacted food. 

Regardless of the reason for the toothache, the pain is still there and it needs to be addressed by a dentist. In the meantime, here are a couple of steps you can take. 

  • Rinse and swish the mouth with warm water. 
  • Look at the tooth to see if you can see signs of any issues. If food is impacted, carefully remove it. Careful flossing may be helpful. 
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. 
  • Use a cold compress if swelling is present. 
  • Call your dentist. 

Knocked-Out Tooth

Kids are fearless and they play hard. So, getting a tooth knocked out happens quite often. Most dentists won’t try to replant a baby tooth in order to protect the permanent tooth that will eventually erupt. However, permanent teeth may be able to be reimplanted, depending on the level of trauma. This needs to be done immediately after the tooth is knocked out. Therefore, if your child has a tooth that is completely knocked out, then it is imperative you reach out to your pediatric dental office right away. 

In the meantime, below you will find a couple of steps you can take.  

  • Locate the tooth. You will want to find the tooth and handle it carefully - try your best not to touch the roots. Gently rinse it in water. 
  • Place the tooth in some milk or even saliva to keep it moist. The tooth cannot dry out. 
  • If your child’s tooth is bleeding, rinse the mouth with water and gently apply pressure to the area using gauze or a clean cloth. 
  • Call your pediatrician and pediatric dentist immediately. 

Broken Tooth

Teeth can break thanks to trauma while playing sports or playing rough with a sibling. The damage a broken tooth causes can vary just as much, leaving your child with a minor fracture or the pulp of the tooth exposed. Your dentist will have to examine the tooth to determine the severity. 

Because there are many factors that come with a broken tooth at the different levels of damage, it is important that you contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to advise whether your child needs to be seen on an emergency basis or if an appointment can be made to come in. 

Here are a few steps you can take for a broken tooth. 

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water if bleeding is present
  • Locate and bring in the tooth fragment if possible
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. 
  • Contact your dentist. 

Fractured Jaw or Head Injury

If your child has been in an accident or has suffered a fractured jaw or head trauma, this could be very serious and your child should be taken to the nearest emergency room. For a fractured jaw, you will want to keep your child from moving it. Sometimes tying a thin t-shirt or scarf longways around the head and under the jaw can keep it from moving. 

Head injuries and trauma always warrant treatment in the ER, regardless if consciousness was lost or not. 

Dental Emergencies at Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

It is tough to see your child hurting due to dental pain. Thankfully, the team at Marigold is here to offer our help when you need it. So, whether you are dealing with a toothache, a broken tooth, trauma to the mouth, or something else - give us a call. 

Contact our office at 973-821-7161. If it is after hours, leave a message and head to your local emergency room. Of course, if you are dealing with a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 911 or head to your closest emergency room.