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Act Fast With a Plan: Handling Dental Emergencies With Kids

Pediatric dental emergencies can be scary for both parents and children. A cracked or knocked-out tooth, persistent toothache or injury to the mouth all require prompt attention and care. Having a plan in place for handling dental emergencies can help you take action fast and minimize the potential long-term impacts on your child’s dental health. 

If you want to be prepared for any dental emergency that may come your way, going to Route 66 Children’s Dentistry for routine pediatric dental care, including checkups and cleanings, is one of the best things you can do. Keeping up with regular appointments allows our experienced pediatric dentists to monitor your child’s dental health and help prevent issues from becoming emergencies.

Which conditions qualify as emergency dental issues in children?

Some of the most common dental emergencies for children include:

Chipped or broken teeth

Children are active and prone to accidents, which can lead to a chipped or broken tooth. If your child chips or breaks a tooth, rinse their mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Save any pieces of the tooth if possible and bring them with you to the dentist.

Knocked-out teeth

A knocked-out permanent tooth is a serious emergency that requires immediate attention. If your child loses a tooth, gently rinse it off and try to reinsert it into the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in milk or saliva and bring it with you to the dentist within 30 minutes.

If your child knocks out a baby tooth, it’s still important to see a dentist as soon as possible, but less urgent. Do not try to reinsert it, as this can damage the permanent tooth developing beneath.


Persistent toothaches can be signs of tooth decay or infection, and they’re unlikely to go away on their own. Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food particles that may be causing the pain. If the toothache persists, see a dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Blow to the mouth

If your child receives a blow to the mouth or any kind of oral injury, gently clean the area and apply a cold compress. If there is any bleeding, use gauze to apply pressure. If the injury is severe or involves significant blood loss, seek medical attention immediately and follow up with a dentist.

Kids’ dental emergencies: Your go-to action plan

  • Stay calm and reassure your child that everything will be OK. 
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Save any pieces of a chipped or broken tooth and bring them to the dentist.
  • If a permanent tooth is knocked out, try to reinsert it or place it in milk or saliva and see a dentist within 30 minutes.
  • For persistent toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water and remove any food particles with dental floss. See a dentist if the pain persists.
  • For serious injuries or excessive bleeding, seek medical attention immediately.

Seeing a dentist regularly can help relieve anxiety around dental procedures in general and can help your child feel more comfortable and confident if they need emergency dental care.

Reach out today for emergency pediatric dental care at Route 66 Children’s Dentistry 

If your child experiences a dental emergency, call (505) 399-5366 right away to schedule an appointment or receive further instructions. Our team of experienced pediatric dentists is trained to handle all types of emergencies, and we’ll ensure your child receives prompt and gentle care. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns about your child’s dental health — we’re here to help!

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