Summer may not be quite here yet, but with schools releasing for the summer in just a few weeks, it’s time to start preparing! With summer camps, vacations, trips to the pool, and kids playing basketball in the driveway, do you know what to do when your child has an accident and injures his or her teeth? Accidents can be smaller such as biting the tongue, lip, or cheek, but others can more serious and may require a pediatric dentist. Learn more about what to do in different situations and call First Hill Dental Center in Seattle right away if you need to schedule an appointment with a kids emergency dentist.
Cut or Bite of the Tongue, Lip, or Cheek
When a cut or accidental bite occurs, these can be more scary than dangerous for young children. If the skin has been broken, apply gentle pressure to the cut with a gauze or clean cloth. If there is bruising, hold an ice pack against the area. If bleeding persists after 15 minutes and can’t be controlled by pressure, it’s time to take your child to an emergency room.
A Permanent Tooth is Knocked Out
A significant injury like this needs immediate attention, but there are still ways in which you can help your kid’s dentist.
- If you can find the tooth, only hold it by the crown, or the top of the tooth and not the root, or the part that usually can’t be seen.
- Inspect the tooth for chips or fractures. If the tooth is intact, try to reinsert it back into the socket. If your child is old enough and there isn’t a fear of swallowing the tooth, have him or her clench down on the tooth in its socket with a piece of sterile gauze.
- You can rinse the tooth, but don’t handle it more than is necessary.
- If the tooth can’t be placed back in its socket, place the tooth in a cup of milk.
- Bring your child to an emergency dentist right away.
A Chip or Fracture
An immediate trip the dentist may not be needed with a chip or fracture, but action still needs to be taken. In order to help save the tooth, prevent infection, and limit the need for comprehensive dental care, rinse your child’s mouth and teeth with water and to reduce swelling, hold an ice pack to the area. If you can find the piece of broken tooth or any fragments, save them and bring them to your family dentist.
What to do When a Baby’s Teeth Are Damaged
Because baby’s teeth will eventually fall out anyway, treatment from a dentist may not be necessary. If you have questions about what to do when an accident occurs, give our dentist’s office a call. If a baby’s tooth has been chipped or fractured, call our office to discuss a course of action. If a lip has been cut or bruised by the accident, use a cold compress to keep the lip from swelling.
Going on Vacation?
First aid kits can hold supplies that you may need if an accident were to happen while you’re away from the Seattle area. Along with your typical supplies such as Band-Aids, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, and wipes, you can also include items that will help in case of a dental emergency. Make sure you have gauze, a small cup, mouthwash, a cold compress, and a tooth storage fluid.
When your child has an accident that damages their teeth, it can be a scary situation. Whether there is a chipped or fractured tooth or one has been completely knocked out, it is important to follow up with a pediatric dentist. If there is a damaged, dislodged, or loosened tooth, attention from a dentist can prevent infection, control any bleeding, and limit the chances of further dental care being needed.
First Hill Dental Center wants you to be prepared whatever situation occurs this spring and summer. To protect your child’s bright teeth, keep a first aid kit nearby and your family’s dentist on speed dial. We hope that dental emergencies stay far away from your entire family this year, but when you need a reliable and trustworthy dentist, First Hill is here for you.