Children's Dental Emergency: LifeSmiles Dental’s Guide for Parents

Updated: Nov 5

When children injure a bodily part, parents quickly rush them to the hospital, but what’s the appropriate action for dental emergencies?


For a dental emergency, children should be taken to a pediatric dentist. Dental crises can happen at any moment, and more times than not, they’re traumatic for the child and parent(s). However, not all dental emergencies need the expert advice of a pediatric dentist or a visit to the hospital.


So, which dental emergencies require urgent care from a professional dentist and which ones are treatable at home? LifeSmiles Dental has a straightforward guide to follow.

A father and daughter brushing their teeth in the bathroom. Both are wearing white robes and stripped pj's. The daughter is on the counter and the father is smiling, looking at her.

What should I do if my child knocks out a tooth?

A visit to the dentist for an urgent care service is necessary if your child has knocked out a permanent tooth since it can recover.


First and foremost, verify that your child is not suffering from a more significant injury. If not, locate the tooth, clean it, and pop it back into the socket within 10 minutes. Supposing you’re not comfortable putting the tooth back into the socket, keep it in milk until you visit your dentist.


For baby teeth, it’s unnecessary to save or recover the tooth since another one will grow. Although, if you’re concerned about their well-being or if it was a severe loss, a quick call to your pediatric dentist for advice will suffice.


How do I treat my child’s toothache?

An emergency visit to the dentist is not necessary for toothaches unless the pain is persistent.


Instead, you can have your child gargle with warm water to rinse the mouth and infected area. Then, inspect your child’s mouth for any food bits stuck in their teeth – clean out bits with dental floss or a toothpick. A cold compress should be applied if there is swelling.

A parent putting tooth paste on their child's toothbrush. It's a close up shot. Both have white robes. The child is wearing stripped pj's.

What should I do if my child bites their tongue or lip?

For a gnarly tongue, cheek or lip bite, follow these steps:

  • If available, put on medical gloves.

  • Have the child rinse their mouth with warm water.

  • Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a piece of gauze or cloth.

  • If there is swelling, apply ice or a cold pack wrapped in a small towel to the lip, mouth or cheek area (outside of the mouth, of course).

  • Injuries that require stitches, of course, need to be examined by a doctor. For example, a cut that extends through the lip or over the border of the tongue needs medical attention.

Call your pediatric or urgent care dentist for advice if the wound is consistently bleeding.


How is an infected baby tooth treated?

Head over to your urgent care or pediatric dentist for this dental emergency.


Inadequate or occasional cleaning of an infant's teeth might lead to infection or abscess formation. When this happens, pus pockets form around the tooth, making it difficult for your youngster to chew or talk. Since the infection has the potential to spread throughout the body, it is critical to get treatment as soon as possible.


Infected baby teeth might cause cheek or jaw swelling, or a minor fever; to relieve discomfort, apply a cold compress to the affected area at regular intervals. Visible abscesses will (almost) certainly be uncomfortable to touch, and touching them can increase bacteria. Try your best to keep your infant's fingers out of their mouth.

What should I do if my child fractures their tooth?

Children sometimes suffer tooth fractures from falling off their bikes, a jungle gym, or a tree. Sometimes it happens from playing tag and tripping. Either way, mishaps and accidents happen all of the time.


This sort of juvenile dental emergency can lead to infection, so it is critical to get treatment as soon as possible.


Before treatment, a broken tooth may shatter into one or more pieces. If this happens, keeping the fragmented portions as complete as possible might help save the tooth. Place a wet piece of gauze on the wound to reduce the danger.


Pediatric Dentists and Dental Urgent Care Services in Winnipeg

Urgent care services near me? You bet. LifeSmiles Dental Corp offers dental urgent care services across Manitoba at our six dental clinics. We have extended hours, and some clinics are open on weekends. Our emergency dentists have experience with people of all ages, from infants to seniors.


In any urgent care or emergency situation, or if you’re unsure how to handle a dental complication – we’re happy to help you through the process, just give us a call.

Father and daughter looking in the bathroom mirror. The daughter is on the counter, brushing her teeth, and the father is behind her. Both are smiling.