When to Seek Emergency Dental Services
In the current health climate in which we live, Kids Dentistry of North Georgia understands that a trip to the dentist may not be something you are looking to do.
However, even during this time of social distancing, there are instances when taking your child to the dentist is not only the wise choice but is absolutely necessary.
Dental emergencies do not happen on a schedule, but, when you find yourself faced with one, please know that we are here and ready to help your child whenever you need us. Our offices remain open from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, despite the COVID-19 crisis, and we are taking every necessary precaution to keep our patients, their families and our staff safe and secure. With that in mind, you may call our office anytime, 24 hours a day at 678-450-7011, and let us help your child with whatever emergency dental services they may require. If you need to call after-hours, simply listen for the instructions about a dental emergency.
Below are dental emergencies that require immediate, professional assistance – and a quick look at how you, the parent or guardian, can quickly improve your child’s situation even before you get to the dentist’s office. One of the best things you can do for your child if he or she is in severe dental pain is to do your absolute best to remain calm and patient. They may be panicking, and a calming, reassuring adult presence can do much to help their situation and even allow you to assess what’s happening more thoroughly.
If any of these happen to your family, please follow the instructions below and call us immediately.
- Broken or Chipped Tooth – Rinse the child’s mouth with warm water and place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken tooth to reduce swelling of soft tissues. Also, try to locate any tooth fragments and store them in cold milk until you reach the dentist.
- Knocked Out Permanent Tooth – Immediately locate the tooth if possible, as it can be salvaged and re-inserted if handled correctly. Only touch the tooth by the crown (the part of the tooth you can see in the mouth). DO NOT touch the root portion of the tooth. You may gently rinse the tooth with saline (NEVER WATER), but do not scrub or clean the tooth excessively. Attempt to reinsert the tooth in its socket. Ask the child to hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean cloth or gauze. If you are unable to reinsert the tooth, transport it in a cup containing milk. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth, so please contact our office immediately.
- Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek – Oral cuts can run the gamut from mild to severe. A mild cut can often be easily cured by an ice compress. You may also use a clean cloth or gauze to staunch any bleeding. However, if bleeding is not controlled with gentle pressure after 15 minutes, this indicates a deeper/more serious wound. If you experience this, call our office.
NOTE: If your child has bitten their cheek, lip, or tongue after having dental treatment, there will be swelling which may worsen over the next couple of days. A yellowish, white plaque (soft scab) will likely develop. This is part of the healing process. The lesion will heal over the next 10-14 days. If your child complains of pain, you may give children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen and apply Orabase to the area, which can be purchased at a drug store.
- Broken or Dislocated Jaw – If you think your child may have broken or dislocated their jaw, immediately apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Call us immediately but be prepared to go the emergency room
- A Stuck Object in the Teeth – Try to gently remove the object using dental floss. DO NOT try to remove any object with a sharp or pointed instrument. Call our office immediately.
Other dental problems may require professional assistance but may not require an immediate trip to the dentist. These issues can cause plenty of pain for your child, however, so please read this section to see how best to deal with them.
- Knocked Out Baby Tooth – If the knocked-out tooth is a primary (baby) tooth, no immediate treatment is necessary. Primary teeth are not re-implanted. Call our office to make arrangements for evaluation.
- Toothache – Gently clean around the tooth using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Rinse the mouth with warm saltwater and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth.NOTE: DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth in ANY instance. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of the face. Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) for pain, and call our office to make arrangements for evaluation.
If your child is in any oral discomfort or pain, please let us know immediately, and we will talk with you to decide the best choice of care for your family.
Here are some tips to help your child avoid dental injury/emergencies:
- DO NOT use teeth to cut or open anything.
- Do not run with any foreign objects in your mouth (think suckers, pencils, etc.)
- Block stairways and dangerous areas from young children.
- Wear a mouthguard if you’re playing contact sports – and a helmet with appropriate activities (such as cycling).
At Kids Dentistry, we know a trip to the dentist can be filled with anxiety in normal times, so we are working extra hard to ensure your visit is as safe and comfortable as possible. In addition to our normal precautions, we are following every CDC guideline to ensure the health and safety of your child, yourself and our staff. Our patients’ well-being is our No. 1 priority at all times, so in these unprecedented days you can rest assured we are doing our utmost to keep our offices as risk-free as possible.