Dental care for kids: Urgent vs. emergent situations

child at dentist

What is a dental home?

Why is it important that my child has a dental home?

When should I contact my dentist for an urgent dental need?

  • When you notice a cavity
  • When your child has pain from a cavity
  • If you see a pimple or red bump on your child’s gums
  • If your child has pain in the back of their mouth that might be from wisdom teeth
  • When your child chips a tooth
  • Loose or “pokey” orthodontic wires

My child is in pain, but their dentist’s office is closed! What should I do?

How can I alleviate my child’s pain/discomfort until I can get an appointment with their dentist?

My child just knocked out a baby tooth. What should I do?

My child just knocked out a permanent tooth. What should I do?

When should you take your child to the emergency department?

  • A dental infection that has spread throughout the body with symptoms such as:
    • High fever (102–104°F)
    • Dehydration
    • Changes in mental state
    • Facial swelling
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing due to facial swelling
    • Uncontrolled bleeding
    • A dislodged intraoral appliance (such as a removable retainer) that is blocking the patient’s airway or was swallowed
    • Severe facial trauma
    • Knocked-out permanent teeth
    • Permanent teeth that are loosened or out of normal position in the jaw and need to be stabilized
    • Chipped dental teeth with pink visible or bleeding from inside the tooth
    • A broken jaw
    • Cuts of the tongue, cheeks, or lips that are bleeding uncontrollably and may require stitches

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