As a parent, it is not always easy to determine when a child needs immediate attention. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our office. One of our doctors is on call 24 hours, 7 days per week to give advice over the phone or assist you in the office as needed. Our phone number is 812-355-0855. If you think your child needs immediate attention for more than tooth related injuries, go to your nearest emergency room immediately or call 911.
Dental pain can range from minor gum irritations to severe tooth infections. As a general rule, pain needs to be addressed quickly if it happens spontaneously, keeps your child awake at night, or doesn’t respond to pain relievers.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek:
You may apply cold compresses to injured areas to help control swelling and bleeding. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call our office or take your child to a hospital emergency room.
Knocked-Out PERMANENT Tooth:
You should contact our office IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in determining the long-term outcome for the tooth.
Tips for improving outcome:
- Handle the tooth by the crown, not by the root.
- Briefly and gently rinse the tooth with water to remove dirt.
- DO NOT clean the tooth with soap or handle it unnecessarily.
- Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it appears whole, try to reinsert it into the socket. The tooth should displace the blood clot relatively easy. If excessive force is needed, do not continue to reinsert the tooth.
- Have your child bite on gauze to hold the tooth in place.
- If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing MILK or your child’s SALIVA.
Knocked-Out PRIMARY (Baby) Tooth:
DO NOT try to reinsert the tooth. You may apply cold compresses to injured areas to help control swelling and bleeding. Baby teeth are not reinserted because of the potential for damage to developing permanent tooth buds. Usually this type of injury does not need immediate follow-up. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions, or if your child sustained other injuries.
Chipped or Fractured PERMANENT Tooth:
Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. Locate any broken tooth fragments, place them in milk, and bring them with you to our office. Contact our office as soon as possible. Not all fractured permanent teeth need immediate attention; however, the outcome for a tooth with a complicated fracture can significantly improve with prompt treatment.
Chipped or Fractured PRIMARY (Baby) Tooth:
Usually this does not require immediate attention if the fracture only involves the outer shell of the tooth. If a larger part of the tooth is fractured you should contact our office. We will help determine if your child should be seen immediately.
Small fractures of primary teeth are very common. This is particularly true when children are learning to walk.
Severe Blow to the Head:
Take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately, especially if your child loses consciousness or experiences vomiting.
Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw:
Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Care of the Mouth After Trauma:
Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum. If the swelling should reoccur, our office needs to see the patient as soon as possible. Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold. If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed. Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp). Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed, call the office so the patient can be seen as soon as possible.