Dental Emergency Triage

Knocked-out Tooth: Go the the dentist right away. It’s best for your dentist to see dentist within 30 minutes. Don’t forget to bring the tooth and any tooth pieces you can find!

  • Baby tooth (Primary): It’s normal for children to lose baby teeth, but an accident that damages a primary tooth could also harm the permanent tooth underneath it.
    • If a tooth is completely out, do NOT try to put it back into the tooth socket.
    • Bring your child and the tooth and/or any piece of the tooth with you to the dentist.
  • Adult tooth (Permanent): Unlike a baby tooth that is knocked out, an adult tooth should be put back into its socket if possible.
    • Hold the tooth by the top and not by the root
    • If it looks dirty, rinse the root gently with water. Do NOT scrub the tooth or remove any attached bits of tissue.
    • Try to gently insert the tooth back into its socket and hold it there with a clean washcloth or gauze pad. If this isn’t possible, try these other options in this order:
      1. See if your child can hold the tooth under their tongue or between the cheeks and gums.
      2. Put the tooth in a container with milk, saliva, saline (salt solution, or an emergency tooth preservation kit.
      3. If none of those liquids is available, put the tooth in water.

Broken or cracked tooth: Go to the dentist right away, and bring the broken tooth piece with you if possible.

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.
  • If you can find the broken tooth piece, wrap it in some wet gauze or a wet towel.
  • Put a cold compress (like an ice pack or a washcloth with ice wrapped inside) on the face to reduce swelling.

Bitten cheek, tongue, or lip:

  • Clean the area gently with a cloth and place a cold compress over the area if possible to keep swelling down.
  • If there is a lot of bleeding, or it doesn’t stop after 1-2 hours, please take your child to the dentist, physician, or an urgent care center.

Object caught between teeth:

  • Do NOT try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.
  • Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If you can’t seem to get it out with regular floss, try to knot the floss 3 times and pull through.
  • If floss doesn’t work, take your child to their dentist.

Toothache or swollen face: Swelling of the case can be a sign of a serious infection. If your child’s face is swollen, take your child to the dentist or physician.

  • Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to clean it out.
  • Give your child what you would normally give them for pain but do NOT put aspirin directly on the aching tooth or gums.

Possible broken jaw: Apply a cold compress to control swelling. Take your child to the dentist or urgent care center right away.

Feel free to print out these tips out and keep them in a hand spot so you can quickly and calmly handle a dental emergency.

Please take photos of the area of concern and email it to us at so that we can traige ASAP. Best wishes for safety and wellness!

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