Unexpected Emergencies Parents Need to Know About: Part I

Part 1: Dental Emergencies

No one ever tells you quite how difficult it will be to be a parent. What no one really tells you is what to do in any and all emergency situations. Sometimes a situation seems uncommon and out of your hands, but it is important to know what to do if you find that your child’s friend was hurt under your watch, if your own child encounters a dental emergency, or if you, the parent, are injured while your child is present.

FA dental emergency may not seem like much of an emergency. Often we consider emergencies to only be severe if they are life-threatening. However, anyone who has had a tooth knocked out or experienced a toothache can testify that dental emergencies are called so because they are extremely painful.

Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth does not sound like it would be such a painful experience, but the damage can go much deeper than just surface level. A severe chip could mean that there is a damaged nerve or blood vessel.

Unfortunately, you can’t treat a chipped tooth entirely on your own. There are a few steps you can take before you visit your dentist though:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.
  • Dispense a pain killer.
  • Apply gauze to any area that is bleeding.

Make an appointment with your child’s dentist as soon as you can. Depending on his level of pain, the appointment does not necessarily have to be immediate. If you fear you won’t be able to visit your child’s regular dentist for awhile, you can use temporary dental cement to do a quick (though unlikely to be neat) repair on your own. Keep in mind though that this repair is only a temporary fix.


Sometimes people will brush off the pain of a toothache because they don’t understand how severe the source can be. The pain can vary from minor aches to severe pain with swelling and sensitivity.

If your child is complaining from tooth pain, check her mouth to see if there is swelling in that area. If she is able, ask her to rate the pain to give you an idea of how severe it is and how immediately you should meet with a dentist. To temporarily help with a toothache, take the following steps:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.
  • Dispense a pain killer.
  • Floss around the tooth to get rid of any extra irritants.

Toothaches can be caused by cavities, trauma, or an infection. Therefore, it is important to visit a dentist right away to find out what the actual cause is and treat it in the best way possible.

Knocked Out Tooth

A knocked out tooth can either be a cause for celebration or a cause for panic. If it is a baby tooth, having the tooth knocked out is not a big deal. It may have startled your child, but will not do any dental damage.

However, if a permanent tooth is knocked out, you will need to take immediate action.

Follow these steps right away and contact an emergency dental clinic as soon as you can:

  • Locate the tooth and handle it by the crown, not the root.
  • Store the tooth in milk (not water!) or in the child’s mouth if you trust he will not swallow it.
  • If you are able, put the tooth back into place until you reach the dentist’s office.
  • Visit the dentist within one hour if you want the original tooth to be re-implanted.

The dentist will likely be able to put the tooth back in, if you make it to her early on. Often she will splint the tooth to an adjacent tooth to keep it in place for a short amount of time. Keep in mind that the front teeth are the most likely to be knocked out. If your child plays sports, always make sure that he is wearing a mouth guard to prevent dental damage like this.

Cut Lip, Tongue, or Cheek

When a child cuts his lip, tongue, or cheek it is a frightening sight for parents. Blood is coming from your child’s mouth and you don’t entirely know why. In these instances it is important to take a few deep breaths and get to the source of the problem. To help you through, there are some steps that you can take:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water to find the source of the bleeding.
  • Apply gauze to bleeding areas.
  • Call emergency services if the bleeding is severe.
  • Make an emergency dental appointment if any teeth were involved in the incident.

mouthRemember to stay calm, regardless of how much blood there may be. Your child will follow your example so if you panic, he will as well. Assure him that everything will be alright as you take care of the situation.

Just because you haven’t experienced a dental emergency before doesn’t mean that it has to be a terrifying, new experience. If you are prepared, you will know the best things to do to help your child get back her beautiful smile. Remember that there are clinics all over North America, so whether you have a dental emergency in Edmonton or Houston, you can find a dentist who can help you at any time, day or night.

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Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. Theo also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment. To find out more about emergency dental clinics, visit the Azarko Dental Group website.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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