Dental Emergencies

Happy child in the rain

Comprehensive Dental Care in Lynnwood & Bothell, WA

At Alderwood Children’s Dentistry, our mission is simple: help kids throughout Bothell, Lynnwood, and the surrounding areas grow up with healthy, beautiful smiles by providing high-quality pediatric dental care. Our practice takes a long-term approach to dental health, focusing on preventive treatment and closely monitoring dental development to help give your child the foundations for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Our goal is always to prevent problems before they happen, but sometimes, dental emergencies arise. If that happens, it’s important to know what to do.

What to Do if Your Child Has a Dental Emergency?

Thankfully, dental emergencies are rare. Most problems are relatively minor and non-urgent, and many can be taken care of at home or with a quick trip to your Lynnwood kids dentist. That said, dental emergencies can happen, and some are quite serious. As your pediatric dentist in Bothell, here are our recommendations for how to handle dental emergencies.

How to Handle a Toothache?

Toothaches are one of the most common dental problems that kids experience. Toothaches may be experienced as sharp pains around the tooth, a dull ache in the mouth, or sensitivity that causes the tooth to hurt when your child touches it or bites down. Toothaches can have a variety of causes ranging from tooth sensitivity and dental decay to simple growing pains, so it’s important to know how to gauge the severity of a toothache to decide how to handle it.

For starters, if your child gets a toothache, try having them rinse their mouth out with warm salt water to ease sore tissue and reduce any inflammation. Flossing the tooth may also help, as this can remove bits of food or debris that are caught between teeth and causing discomfort. Most toothaches should subside within a day or so. However, a toothache that lasts more than a day or two or starts to cause your child serious pain could be part of a larger problem, so contact us right away if you experience this.

How to Handle Chipped, Fractured, or Broken Teeth?

Chipping or breaking a tooth can be scary in the moment, but with the proper steps, it’s often only a minor problem. Depending on how big the break is, try to locate and collect any fragments of the tooth that you can find. We may be able to use these to restore the tooth. Carry these tooth fragments in a bag or cup of milk, then contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.

How to Handle a Bitten Tongue, Cheek, or Lip?

Biting down on the tongue, cheeks, or lips can certainly hurt, but in most cases, it’s not an emergency. If it’s causing discomfort, try applying ice to the area to reduce swelling and dull pain, and once the bleeding stops, use a warm salt water rinse to soothe the cut and help prevent infection. Minor injuries like these in the mouth should stop bleeding quickly and heal within a matter of days. However, if bleeding persists longer than 15 minutes or the pain is serious, contact our office or head to the emergency room.

How to Handle a Broken Jaw?

Most of the problems on this list, though not fun, aren’t much of a cause for orthodontic concern. A jaw injury, however, is serious. Jaw fractures are surprisingly common for kids, especially during sports or other activities, which is why we always recommend wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard to protect from oral injuries during sports. However, if your child does get a jaw injury, it’s critical to take it seriously and take the proper steps immediately.

If you suspect your child may have a jaw injury or broken jaw, do what you can to keep the jaw immobile. Tying some cloth around your child’s head to help them keep their mouth closed can help, but try to avoid putting too much pressure on the jaw. From there, head straight to the emergency room, an urgent care center, or otherwise seek medical attention. With the right treatment, your child’s jaw can heal back to normal, but it’s important to seek treatment right away. After your child receives emergency treatment, contact our office so we can determine the proper next steps.

Contact Your Bothell & Lynnwood, VA Pediatric Dentist

While dental emergencies are very rare, it’s important to act fast and get the right care as quickly as possible. Feel free to contact us at (425) 775-5411 or schedule an appointment online if you have any questions about caring for dental emergencies. Remember that if you think the problem may be very serious or that your child may be in danger, it’s always best to head straight to the emergency room. We wish you luck in taking care of dental emergencies, but we hope you never have to follow these steps in the first place!