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The Most Common Dental Emergencies In Children

The Most Common Dental Emergencies In Children

No matter how hard you try, sometimes dental emergencies are unavoidable. Children, especially, are prone to tripping and falling, which can easily lead to broken teeth, damage to the mouth and area, and more. If something happens that results in a dental emergency, try to remain calm, take the necessary steps for the injury that has occurred, and then bring your child for emergency dentistry services right away. While dental emergencies may take some time to recover from, your pediatric dentist will be able to instruct you and your child on the healing process and can help save any natural teeth and manage pain. Here is the proper way to handle different types of children’s dental emergencies.

Different Oral Injuries And What To Do

1. Knocked Out Tooth
First, try to control the bleeding by using a clean cloth to apply pressure to the tooth socket. If the tooth that got knocked out was a baby tooth, don’t worry about keeping the tooth, since it will not be able to be implanted. If your child’s adult tooth is knocked out, try to find and keep the tooth. Pick it up by the crown (the part that’s normally exposed) and avoid touching the root of the tooth. To save the tooth, keep it in a cup of milk or, if your child is old enough, keep it in the socket it came out of or in your child’s cheek. Do not put the tooth in regular water. Once this is completed, quickly take your child for emergency dentistry services.

2. Loose Tooth
While loose teeth are common for children, a loose tooth that is considered a dental emergency does not refer to the kind of loose tooth that signals a new adult tooth coming in. A loose tooth from an accident or injury requires your child to be taken for emergency dentistry services right away. Make sure you tell your child not to play with the tooth, and if you are concerned it will fall out or become more damaged, have your child gently bite on a clean piece of cloth like a handkerchief to keep the tooth steady.

3. Chipped tooth
Whether chipped, cracked, or fractured, a damaged tooth in a child who otherwise has good oral health is often due to trauma of the mouth. If any of these injuries occur, have your child rinse their mouth with water and then take a preliminary look for any swelling. Place a cold compress on the outside of their mouth to reduce any pain. If you find the piece of the tooth that has chipped off, rinse it off and take it with you when you go for emergency dentist services.

4. Toothache
While toothaches can be the result of poor dental hygiene that leads to cavities, which are often not a dental emergency since they develop slowly over time, toothaches can also be caused by trauma to the tooth. If your child has suffered a blow to the mouth area, bitten into something hard, or suddenly complains of tooth pain, have them rinse their mouth with warm salt water to disinfect and soothe the gums. If the toothache is severe or if it persists for two days or more, see a dentist for children’s dental care.

5. Injuries To Soft Tissue Of The Mouth
This includes injuries to the tongue, cheek, lips, or gums. Always wash your hands before touching any injury. If the wound is on the outside of the mouth, you can clean it with a fresh cloth, water, and soap, and run cool water over the wound to flush out any dirt. After the wound is cleaned of larger particles, you can apply disinfectant. If bleeding persists, apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. If the injury is inside the mouth, have your child swish with warm salt water and then put a clean, damp piece of gauze against the wound and apply pressure. If bleeding persists after about 10 minutes, go for emergency dental services.

6. Broken Jaw
If you suspect your child’s jaw is broken, use a cold compress to help with the pain and swelling and take them to the emergency room of a hospital. Signs of a broken jaw include:

  • Swelling of the chin, lips, cheeks, gums, or jaw
  • A crooked or misshapen jaw
  • Difficulty moving their mouth
  • Pain in the jaw
  • Tingling or numbness in the jaw
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Missing or loose teeth
  • A lump in the jaw below the ear
  • Trouble breathing, talking, or eating

Emergency Dental Services In Calgary

When a dental emergency occurs, take your child to a dentist for emergency dental services as soon as possible. A dental centre that specializes in children’s dental care will be able to help your child quickly and will have all of the tools to save or repair your child’s teeth. Marlborough Dental Centre offers same or next-day appointments to treat a dental emergency and our flexible clinic is open on evenings and weekends. Come to Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary to see our Calgary dentists as soon as possible, even if your dental emergency happens outside of regular business hours. If you have any questions, you can call 1-403-248-2066, or if you have non-dental emergency questions, you can fill out the online contact form.


Q: Are dental emergencies covered by insurance?
A: Yes. Alberta Health covers all dental emergencies.

Q: What constitutes a dental emergency?
A: If your child is experiencing intense pain, swelling, or bleeding that doesn’t stop after about 10 minutes, excretion of puss, or if the teeth are loosened, cracked, chipped, or knocked out, it is considered a dental emergency. If you’re unsure if emergency dentistry is needed or if the issue is something you will need an appointment for, ask Marlborough Dental in Calgary by calling us at 1-403-248-2066. If it is not an emergency and you wish to book an appointment, fill out the contact form here.

Q: Should I take my child to the ER for tooth pain?
A: If the tooth pain is combined with other symptoms such as swelling, pus, a foul taste in your mouth, high fever, and a general feeling of sickness, visit the ER as your child may have an oral infection that has spread throughout their body. If the pain is not combined with any of the symptoms above, visit Marlborough Dental Centre to determine the optimal course of action.

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