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Dental Emergencies


Clean the area of the affected tooth. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water & use dental floss to dislodge any food that may be impacted. If the face is swollen, apply cold compresses and contact our office immediately, as an antibiotic may be necessary. If there is some swelling or redness of gums but no discomfort to the tooth, warm salt water rinses will help cleanse the area and possibly heal the soft tissue.

Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling and have child take Motrin/Advil to help control inflammation. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call our office or go to the closest hospital.


Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If possible, find the tooth. Handle it by the crown, not by the root! You may rinse the tooth with water only. DO NOT clean with soap, scrub or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound, try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup of milk. If the patient is able to, the tooth may also be carried in the patient’s mouth (between the cheek and teeth). The child must be seen (within ~30 minutes of the injury).  They may go to the closest hospital or call the office immediately. Time is a critical factor with regards to long term survival of the tooth.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth

Contact your pediatric dentist during business hours. This is not usually an emergency, and in most cases, no treatment is necessary. Baby teeth do not get placed back into the mouth. Attempt to locate the tooth so Dr. Pirner can inspect it. If you cannot locate the missing tooth, it might have been pushed/forced into the socket. A simple radiograph will determine this situation & assess any underlying damage.

Chipped/Fractured Permanent Tooth

If the nerve is exposed the child should be seen immediately, otherwise he/she can wait until the next business day. The tooth may be sensitive.  Staying away from cold/hot foods will help ease the sensitivity. Please call the office so Dr. Pirner can assess the situation.

Chipped/Fractured Baby Tooth

In some cases, treatment is not necessary if the nerve is not exposed. If the patient is in discomfort, please call the office.

Loose Permanent Tooth

Avoid biting into anything with the tooth. Stay on a soft diet until Dr. Pirner can assess the tooth. Please call our office to set up an appointment

Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw

Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.


Loose/Dislodged Dental Appliance

If you are able to, please push the band back on the tooth. If the band has been chewed on or you are unable to place band back on to the tooth and the band on the other side is still intact onto the tooth, place one arm of a tweezer onto the top of the tooth and the other arm under the band and squeeze to try to pull the band off the tooth. You may also use nail clippers to cut the band the wire from the band.

Mouth Guards for kids

Trauma and Mouthguards


More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year through sports injury, accident, or play.  Saving a tooth depends entirely on what is done within the first 30-60 minutes after the incident.  If a tooth is knocked out:

  1. Do not handle the tooth by the root.

  2. Do not brush or scrub the tooth.  If debris is present, gently rinse with water. 

  3. If possible, replant the tooth by biting down gently on a towel or handkerchief.  If unable to replant, place the tooth in cold milk, water, or wrap the tooth in saline soaked gauze.

  4. Contact your dentist immediately.  Replantation within 30 minutes has the best rate of success.


If a tooth gets fractured, it is important to determine whether the pulp/nerve of the tooth has been exposed.  To do so, look at the fractured surface of the tooth, if a red dot is present, then the nerve has been exposed.  In this instance, it is important to contact your dentist immediately.


Mouthguards: Approximately 15 million children participate in organized sports in the United States.  According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer damage to the mouth when not wearing a protective mouth guard.  The cost to repair a broken or missing tooth can cost thousands of dollars.  Mouth guards help prevent injury to the teeth, lips, cheeks and even the tongue.  There are 3 types of mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom-made mouth guard.  Consult with your dentist who will help you determine which mouth guard would best fit your needs.

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