Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Accidents can happen. Our pediatric dentist, Tracy H. Takenaka, DDS, MSD, is here to help if your little one ever has an oral injury or dental emergency. When your child receives a dental injury, you will want to book an appointment at our DuPont, WA office as soon as possible. However, there are also some specific things you should do right away. Below you will find information for how to respond to different dental emergencies immediately. Follow these steps and your child will be in the best position for a full recovery.
Traumatic Dental Injuries
A knocked-out permanent tooth requires quick thinking and rapid action. You'll increase the chances that the tooth can be saved if you pick it up without touching the root, gently clean it off with water, and put it back in its socket facing the correct way. Hold it in place with gentle pressure as you rush to our DuPont office or the closest emergency room. If you can't replant the tooth immediately, tuck it between your child’s cheek and gum, or carry it in a container of cold milk, as the calcium helps preserve it. We may recommend a mouthguard to help protect the mouth.
If a tooth has been moved or loosened, treatment needs to occur within six hours. HOWEVER, if there is uncontrollable bleeding, go to the ER immediately.
If a tooth is chipped, try to find any pieces that have come off, as it might be possible to reattach them. Then book an appointment for our pediatric dentist to see your child right away and bring the pieces with you.
Acute or persistent tooth pain always signals a need for an urgent visit to our DuPont pediatric dentist. The most common cause of dental pain is tooth decay, a bacterial infection that can spread through many parts of the tooth, and even into the gum tissue. Sometimes tooth pain indicates that your child may need a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is a procedure that not only relieves the pain of an infection deep inside the tooth, but can also keep the tooth from having to be removed. Other times pain may be the result of a loose filling or a sensitive tooth. The only way to know for sure what's causing your child’s tooth pain is to make an appointment at our DuPont dental office.
Injuries and infections involving the soft tissues of the mouth may also require emergency treatment. The tissues of the gums, tongue, or cheek lining can be damaged by accidental bites, falls, sports injuries, and scalding liquids. They may also suffer injury as a result of foreign bodies that become lodged below the gumline, causing painful and potentially serious abscesses. A periodontal (gum) abscess is a pus-filled sac caused by an infection and is usually quite painful. Abscesses require immediate attention by your child’s pediatric dentist.
Any injury to the soft tissues of the mouth should be rinsed with diluted salt water. If there is visible debris, it should be cleared. Bleeding can usually be controlled by pressing a clean, damp material to the afflicted area for 10 - 15 minutes. If this does not work, go to the emergency room.
A foreign body lodged beneath the gumline can sometimes be gently worked out with dental floss or a toothpick. But if this can't be accomplished easily, contact our DuPont office for an appointment so the area does not become damaged and/or infected in your attempts to alleviate the problem.
Although there can be discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment, there are only a few true orthodontic emergencies. They include trauma or injury to the teeth, face, or mouth. Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face, and severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas can also be classified as orthodontic emergencies. In any of these situations, seek immediate care from your pediatric dentist or an emergency room. For loose, broken, or irritating pieces of orthodontic hardware, please contact our DuPont office for advice.
Safeguarding Your Child’s Smile
The team at Children’s Dentistry of DuPont is committed to helping your child smile brighter. Should you ever need our dental/oral assistance, or have questions about the issues listed above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always glad to help you over the phone or in person at our DuPont, WA office.
Call Children's Dentistry of DuPont at (253) 244-9778 for more information.