How to Act in a Dental Emergency: A 7-Step Guide

Reach for Emergency Dental Care in Kapolei

Dental accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, especially with younger children. Kids like to play outside and run around, which can lead to brute impacts and a visit for emergency dental care in Kapolei. 

When that happens, acting quickly means the difference between saving and losing a permanent tooth. Here are some steps you can follow to handle any dental emergency effectively.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency With Kids

8 Steps to Take if Your Kid Suffers a Dental Emergency 

Step 1: Stay Calm

It’s easy to panic during an emergency, even more so if it involves your child—add blood and tears to that, and it makes sense if you feel like the world is ending.  

Still, the first and most important thing to do in a dental emergency is to remain calm and rational. Your child will look at you for comfort, so remind yourself that this is a manageable situation and give them reassurance that everything is fine to avoid PTSD.  

Step 2: Assess The Situation

During emergencies, kids suffer deeply from stress, which can render them unable to convey what has happened properly. So, after taking a moment to calm them down, try to assess the situation. 

Try to determine:   

  • How did the accident happen?  
  • Did they lose a tooth due to a fall, or did they bite their tongue? 
  • Are their injuries only on the mouth? 
  • Are they bleeding? 
  • Is there visible damage to a tooth? 
  • Can you retrieve any parts of it? 
  • Is there something stuck between their teeth? 
  • Did they swallow something? 
  • If they have brackets, is there something stuck in there? 
  • Has a wire broken? 
  • If so, has it perforated any of their soft tissues?  

Making a list of the symptoms will help you communicate them to the dentist and determine what kind of emergency care you need to seek.  

Step 3: Stop Any Bleeding

If there’s any bleeding in the mouth, your top priority is to control it. You want to find out if the wound is deep or if the blood loss is extreme. This can happen, for example, if they have bitten their tongue, or with due to a braces-related emergency. 

To do so, mix warm water with a teaspoon of salt and gently rinse your kid’s mouth to clear away any blood or debris. Then, with a clean piece of gauze or a soft cloth, apply firm, consistent pressure to the bleeding area.  

Step 4: Try to Reduce the Pain

If your child has injured their cheek or lip, wrap ice or something cold in a cloth and place it on the outside of the mouth to reduce swelling and pain.   

If the pain is acute, the ADA recommends acetaminophen like Tylenol, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, for children under the age of 12. Still, try to communicate with your dentist before giving them any medication. 

Step 5: Save Any Broken Pieces

When it comes to chipped or knocked out teeth, try to retrieve any missing pieces. If you seek care before 30 minutes pass, the dentist can bond these fragments back. 

Pick up the tooth by the top part, not the root, and gently rinse it with water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, place it in a small container filled with milk to keep it moist. Common tap water can damage the delicate cells on its root.  

If the fallen tooth is a baby tooth, try to retrieve it anyway, as it lets the dentist know of the existence of remaining pieces that need to be extracted from the mouth. 

Step 6: Contact Your Dentist

After calming down, having assessed the situation, and controlling any blood loss or pain, it’s time to reach for the professionals. 

Regardless of the type of dental emergency you are experiencing, contact your go-to dentist as they’ll be able to give a proper diagnose, and effective indications on how to continue. If it’s necessary, they will call you in for an appointment.  

Many dental practices leave room for these emergency visits in their daily schedules.  

If it is after business hours, call the dental office anyways, as they sometimes leave educational voicemail messages. There could be instructions for contacting an on-call dentist or a valuable referral to an emergency dental clinic. 

Step 7: Prevent Future Health Emergencies

Accidents are proven to happen, especially when kids are young. Nevertheless, there are certain precautions you can take to prevent them from suffering serious injuries: 

  • Make them wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.  
  • Teach them never to use their teeth to cut or open things. 
  • Try to educate them not to put things in their mouth. 
  • Never let them run around with objects in their mouths, like toothbrushes or pencils. 
  • Educate them on the importance of oral hygiene, and ensure they brush their teeth at least twice daily.  

Pro Tip: The best teaching method is to lead with an example. Taking care of your own oral hygiene will set a standard for your children and will be crucial in nurturing their oral health after an emergency.

Avoid Emergency Dental Care in Kapolei With Regular Visits

Avoid Emergency Dental Care in Kapolei With Regular Visits

Preventive care is your greatest ally in avoiding dental emergencies. Regular visits to your dentist allow for the early detection of potential issues before they become serious problems. Our professional dental team in Kapolei is committed to helping your child maintain optimal oral health through routine check-ups and cleanings. 

During these visits, our dentists can identify early signs of decay, gum disease, or other dental concerns that could lead to emergencies if left untreated. Additionally, our team will educate you and your child on the importance of preventive measures, such as using mouthguards during sports activities, which can protect teeth from injury. 

We also discuss the best ways to be prepared for a dental emergency, ensuring you know what steps to take should one occur. By staying proactive with your dental health and following our preventive care recommendations, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of needing emergency dental care. 

Don’t wait for a dental emergency to take action. Schedule regular visits with our Kapolei dental office and let us help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way, providing expert care and guidance to keep your child’s teeth and gums in the best possible condition. If you have any remaining doubts, give us a call!