Knowing How to Seek Emergency Care Can Save You Time and Worry

Being prepared for a dental emergency can save you a lot of worry and stress, especially if your child is involved. Accidents happen fast, and it is a good idea to have a mental checklist in case you are ever faced with a traumatic event. You may even choose to display this list where it can be easily accessed. Dr. Knight, serving Louisville, KY and Radcliff, KY, can help you through these worrisome situations by providing efficient emergency care. At Knight Orthodontics, we are here to help you every step of the way.

Step 1: Call Us Immediately

The most important thing you can do is call our office right away. We can help you assess the situation, and determine how serious it is. Most likely, we will fit you into our schedule to take a look. If it is a severe emergency, we will direct you to the nearest emergency room staff.

Step 2: Remain Calm

When accidents happen, adrenaline runs high. It is important you remain calm so you can think clearly and be supportive for your child. You have a team of dental professionals that are specially trained in how to handle emergency situations. Let us help you!

Emergency Checklist

Preparation is key when it comes to handling traumatic situations. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies that occur in children, and how to address them:

  • Knocked-out tooth: If your child loses a tooth due to blunt trauma, gently clean it off with warm water and replace it in the socket, if possible, then head to our office. If replacing it in the socket is not feasible, you can either have your child hold it in his or her mouth to keep it moist or place it in a container of milk. It is sometimes possible to save the tooth if you act quickly.
  • Loose tooth: If a tooth becomes too loose, it should be removed so that your child does not accidentally swallow it. If it is a primary (baby) tooth, remove it at home if possible. If it is causing further issues, or if it is a permanent (adult) tooth, call our office immediately.
  • Fractured tooth: If your child has suffered a broken or chipped tooth, have him or her swish with a saltwater rinse and place a cold compress over the external surface of the affected area. Call us immediately. If you can locate the piece of tooth that broke off, save it and bring it.
  • Lip or tongue bite: If your child is experiencing bleeding from a bitten tongue or lip, gently clean the affected area with water, and then apply a cold, wet washcloth with firm and steady pressure. This will decrease the chance of swelling. Call our office so we can help determine if it is serious.
  • Something stuck between the teeth: Occasionally, your child may feel as though there is something lodged between their teeth. Use regular dental floss to free the object. If this does not work, or if your child is still experiencing discomfort, give us a call.
  • Toothache: At the first sign of a toothache, have your child swish with a warm salt water rinse. A cold compress can also be applied to the external surface to reduce swelling and ease discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken.
  • Broken jaw: If you suspect your child may have a broken jaw, call our emergency number immediately, or head to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. In the meantime, apply a cold compress to the affected area.