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Dental Emergencies in Children

dental emergencies Kitchener-Forest Hill Family Dental

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, especially amongst children. Kids are active and always on the move; one slip, trip or fall may lead to a chipped or fractured tooth. In the event of a dental emergency, you will need to find a pediatric dentist to provide your child with the appropriate treatment.

If you act fast, a pediatric dentist may be able to preserve your child’s smile. A knocked-out tooth or a tooth that has been shifted out of place may be salvageable if you visit the dentist immediately. 

Dental emergencies that are common for children include:

A Knocked-Out Tooth

If this situation is handled quickly, a pediatric dentist may be able to reimplant a knocked-out permanent tooth. You must try to control any bleeding, and if you cannot, you will need to take your child to the emergency room. Try to find the tooth that has been knocked out; if you do spot it, pick it up carefully and do not touch its root. If it is dirty, you can rinse away any debris gently; do not scrub it or use soap. Once the tooth is clean, store it in a safe place until you get to your dentist. Try to get there within an hour, as this is when re-implanting a tooth is most successful.

If you cannot place the permanent tooth back into the socket, keep it moist until you visit a pediatric dentist. You can place the tooth in a container of cold milk, or you can bring the tooth to your dentist wrapped in a wet cloth. If it is a baby tooth that is knocked out, you should still visit a pediatric dentist. Although a child will lose the tooth anyway, the other teeth may incorrectly shift to fill in the space, which can lead to crowding and orthodontic issues. A knocked-out tooth is considered a dental emergency, and you must visit a dentist regardless of whether it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth.

Teeth Knocked Out of Position

Children will fall from time to time, a fact that is inevitable, no matter how hard you try. This can lead to a tooth being knocked out of position that is still in its socket. You will have to control any bleeding when this happens; if this is not a possibility, you will have to go to the emergency room immediately. When a permanent or baby tooth is knocked out of place, you must try to get your child to gently bite on gauze or a cloth to hold the tooth in position until you can get to the dentist.

The sooner you visit your dentist, the higher the chance that the tooth can be saved. You should visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. 

Chipped or Fractured Tooth

A chipped tooth in kids is treatable. If the condition is relatively minor, a pediatric dentist may use a tooth-coloured filling or dental bonding to restore the tooth with a seamless finish. If your child’s tooth is severely damaged, a dental crown may be necessary.

Get your child to rinse their mouth out with warm water, and ensure they do not have any tooth fragments in their mouth they can accidentally swallow. If you do happen to locate the tooth fragments, bring them with you to your dental appointment. If the fracture or chip is considerably large or if the tooth is loose or shifted out of place, visit a pediatric dentist right away.

If your child is in pain, they may be at risk of infection due to an exposed root. Place a cold compress on their cheek directly over the area of the injury and hold it there as you make your way to the dentist. You need to visit a dentist, even if the chipped tooth is a baby one.


Have your child rinse their mouth out with warm water if they have a toothache, and then gently floss to remove any debris or food that may be stuck in the area and causing them pain. You can make use of table salt, which has been known to help remove bacteria. If your child continues to experience tooth or jaw pain, contact a pediatric dentist. In the short term, give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever until you are able to get to the dentist.

If you notice severe tooth pain or facial swelling, these may be a sign of infection—if it is not treated promptly, the infection may spread. Contact a pediatric dentist right away and place a cold compress on your child’s face to help reduce swelling.

Injuries to the Cheeks, Lips or Tongue

Have your child rinse their mouth out with warm water, after which you can assess the injury. If there is bleeding, apply pressure with a clean cloth or piece of gauze. For swelling, have them hold an ice pack or cold compress wrapped in a towel to the cheek or lip. If you think your child needs stitches or if you see that the bleeding will not stop, seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Broken Jaw

This is a very serious problem that will require emergency medical care right away. Apply a cold compress to the jaw to control swelling until you get to the emergency room. A blow that is powerful enough to break a child’s jaw may also cause a concussion, and they will have to be evaluated by a medical professional to assess the severity.

Benefits of a Pediatric Dentist

Dental emergencies can sometimes be unavoidable for young children despite our best efforts. While it can be a stressful situation, it is important to calmly and quickly take the appropriate action to help your child. You’ll want to reassure them as they may experience subsequent pain and emotional duress, unsure of what happened to them and what happens next. They will be looking to you for help, and our dental professionals are here for you!

Pediatric dentists provide specialized dental care for children and teens, their practice focusing specifically on young patients’ dental health. When a child experiences oral health complications or a dental emergency, it is highly recommended that you visit a pediatric dentist. There are many advantages, including:

A Calming Environment

It’s natural for children to fear the dentist, but a pediatric dentist is carefully trained to understand the concerns of young patients and how to properly engage with them to acknowledge and work through their feelings. They will work to ensure your child is comfortable during their appointment. Pediatric dentists are friendly and qualified, and will work to help your child feel less nervous about their dental visit.

Specialized Training

Pediatric dentists know how to work with young jaws and are specifically trained to work with kids to provide a safer, effective solution for your child’s dental emergency.

Experienced with Childhood Habits and Oral Health Issues

Pediatric dentists are aware of the habits children have and will discuss creative solutions to prevent certain behaviours with the goal of helping to improve their oral health.

Understanding Children’s Growth and Changes

The jaw moves and changes shape as children continue to grow. A pediatric dentist is aware of these changes and will work to ensure your child receives quality care with a friendly, personable touch. We are familiar with the different stages of growth children go through and will work diligently to help maintain their healthy smiles throughout the different stages. In the event of a dental emergency for your child, this background knowledge will provide a firm foundation in treating the specific concern with a custom-tailored solution.


Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in Kitchener? Forest Hill Family Dental is always ready to help. We have years of experience working with children and will do everything we can to help make your child feel comfortable during their dental appointments. Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable, always aiming to prioritize your child’s comfort throughout their visit.

Good dental health involves a series of proactive, preventative oral care routines that need to be ingrained at a young age to reduce the likelihood of future health complications.

Pediatric Dentist in Kitchener

You can contact us at any time if your child experiences a dental emergency, and we will provide the appropriate treatment options as soon as possible. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist who understands the needs of children with a compassionate service, get in touch with our dental office in Kitchener today to schedule an appointment!

Give us a call at 519-578-1300 or use our online booking tool.