Young girl with dental hygienist at Smiles 4 Keeps

What to do if Your Child Has a Dental Emergency

Parents need to be prepared for anything, including dental emergencies. Knowing ahead of time what to do when your child has a knocked out tooth, an excruciating toothache, or any other dental problem will make it much easier to deal with the issue.

If an emergency is life-threatening, parents should call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. However, many situations can be taken care of at the child’s dentist’s office. Here are some common dental emergencies parents may face, as well as how to handle them.

Note: If you are in the Bartonsville, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton or nearby area give our office a call immediately if your child is experiencing a dental emergency. We can help.


Simply put, active children are accident-prone. Children can suffer mouth injuries whether they’re playing sports or playing on the playground. When a mouth or jaw injury occurs, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. If you suspect your child’s jaw may be fractured, he or she needs to go to the emergency room immediately. To avoid injury, children who play sports should wear a protective, custom-made mouth guard.

Knocked Out Tooth

If a tooth is knocked out, keep the tooth as well as any tissues that may be attached. Try to place the tooth back in its space, or keep the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva and bring it to the dentist. Of course, your child should see a dentist as soon as possible; if it is a permanent tooth, it may be possible to re-implant it.

Broken Tooth

A broken tooth can be very painful, and requires immediate attention to prevent infection. Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and cover the broken tooth with either a piece of sugar-free gum or wax. Provide your child with soft foods and instruct him or her to be careful with the tooth until you can see a dentist.


Toothaches are frequently caused by tooth decay, but they can also be caused by other factors such as infection or teeth grinding. Regardless, your child should see a dentist promptly, as pain is an indicator of an oral health issue. In the meantime, an over-the-counter pain reliever and a cold compress can provide temporary relief.

Of course, it’s a great idea to find a pediatric dentist who offers emergency care. By being prepared, it will be easier to help your child through a dental emergency. If you are in the Bartonsville, Wilkes-Barre, or Scranton area give us a call or contact us today!