Emergency Care

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If any dental emergency arises, you can call our office at anytime. The phone number to contact SLO Pediatric Dental for emergency care is  805.544.8111.  An emergency operator service is available during non-office hours to contact the pediatric dentist on call.

It is not uncommon for children to have accidents and injure their teeth. It is imperative that parents are able to make the correct decisions if/when these accidents occur. The first thing to remember in these situations is to stay calm. By remaining calm and taking quick action, you will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child’s discomfort. Dental emergencies can involve toothaches, broken teeth, chipped or fractured teeth, tissue damage, biting or bleeding of the gums, and any other dental pain.

Common Dental Emergencies:

Broken Tooth:

Gently clean or rinse dirt from the area around the break. Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken tooth to minimize lip or facial swelling. If the fracture is more than one-half of the tooth, contact our office immediately.

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Knocked Out Tooth:

For permanent teeth – Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not root. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it in cold water, but DO NOT scrub or handle the root unnecessarily. Try to replace the tooth into the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by closing on a gauze pad or washcloth. If it is not possible to replace the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk, or if this is not available, cool water. Contact our office. Time is important for saving the tooth, less than 30 minutes is the best.

For primary (baby) teeth – Teeth are not re-implanted. The tooth fairy will be at work prematurely.

Toothaches:

Clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Contact our office.

Bitten Tongue, Lip, or Cheek:

If there is bleeding apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply an ice compress to the injured area. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Objects Caught between the Teeth:

Try to remove the object with dental floss. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Do not use a sharp metal object. If you cannot remove it, contact our office.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out:

Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area and have your child bite down. Pressure helps the wound stop bleeding. Keep it in place for 5-10 minutes, then repeat as necessary.

Cold or Canker Sores:

Some children will get these periodically. Placing vitamin E oil over the area, or other over the counter medications will usually give relief. If they persist or are extreme, we can use a laser bandage to seal over the area, contact our office to learn more about this option.

AVOIDING INJURY

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You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seat belts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have him/her wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child.  Prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.

Finally, Keep our phone number handy and make it known to your baby sitters, pediatrician, and your child’s school nurse.