A dental emergency is no laughing matter and it's especially stressful when your child is in the middle of one.  If your child has experienced a dental injury, it's vital to stay calm and contact your dentist right away.  While you wait for your dentist to call back, follow these tips to provide the proper care and alleviate any pain.


Examine the child's mouth and look closely at the chipped area.  If there's blood and broken skin surrounding the tooth, wash the area with warm water.  Then, apply a cold compress to the area to stop the bleeding and prevent swelling.  A bag of frozen vegetables works well for that.  Even if there's no pain, it's important to let the dentist know about the tooth and make an appointment so she can assess the damage herself.


The first thing to do is to look for the knocked out tooth.  If the child still has her baby teeth, keep the tooth and bring it to your next dental appointment.  For permanent teeth, it's essential to act quickly.  Place the tooth back in the vacated gum and tell your child to hold it in place.  If this is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and get to a dentist as soon as possible.  The milk will help the roots of the teeth survive so the dentist can set the tooth back in the gum.  If this happens outside of regular dental hours and you are unable to contact your dentist, take your child to a nearby emergency dentist, like Dr. Jeffery Spilman DDS.  If there is bleeding, tell the child to bite down on tissue or gauze.  The pressure will stop the bleeding. 


Toothaches are the most common dental complaint among children.  Sometimes, the kids will erroneously believe that their tooth is hurting when it's a canker sore or broken skin.  Ask your child to describe the pain and point out the area where it hurts.  Teeth hurt for a number of reasons including tooth decay, infection and impacted food.   If the pain is persistent and isn't improved by flossing or cleaning the teeth, it's okay to give children's Tylenol or ibuprofen to temporarily reduce the pain.  Take your child to the dentist as soon as possible to discover the root of the problem.

Dental emergencies strike out of nowhere, especially with kids.  It's important to keep your dentist's phone number handy and be armed with the information to tackle any dental trauma at the moment it occurs.