Emergency Info

Dental Emergencies:

Tooth Ache
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on your child’s aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. Contact our office as soon as possible.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Broken Tooth
Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Contact our office immediately.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, contact our office immediately. 

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, contact our office.

Cold or Canker Sores
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, call us to schedule an appointment. 

Orthodontic Emergencies:

Call our office as soon as possible if your child breaks or loosens any of their appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see your child. Even if your child has a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if they need an appliance repaired.

Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office  if a band or bracket is loose. We will determine if the patient needs to be seen earlier than their next scheduled appointment.  If a bracket is loose and sliding on the wire but is not causing discomfort this is not an emergency.  If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for your child.

Wire Irritations
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, please call our office for an appointment.

Lost Separators
It is not uncommon for patients lose a separator. Do not worry if your child loses a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week after your child’s braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, they will likely feel some soreness or discomfort. Your child may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while they adjust to their new braces. A warm salt water rinses may help.