Common Dental Emergencies in Children: What to Do and When to Seek Help

common dental emergencies in children what to do and when to seek help

Accidents can happen anytime, especially with children who are always on the go. A dental emergency in Duluth is common, and knowing how to handle it can make a big difference. Here, we’ll talk about some common dental problems kids might face, what you can do at home, and when it’s time to see a dentist.

1. Toothache

A toothache involves discomfort within or surrounding a tooth. It can be caused by cavities, an infection, or even food stuck between teeth.

What to Do:

  • Take some lukewarm water to rinse the mouth thoroughly.
  • Next, using dental floss, try to pluck out the stuck particle in the kid’s mouth.
  • Give your child a pain reliever like acetaminophen, but avoid putting aspirin directly on the gums.
  • Apply a cold compress on the cheek if there is swelling.

When to Seek Help: If the pain lasts more than a day, is very severe, or if you notice swelling, redness, or a fever, it’s time to visit the dentist.

2. Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth can be a scary situation, but quick action can help save the tooth.

What to Do:

  • Find the tooth and hold it by the crown (the top part), not the root.
  • If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water without scrubbing or removing any attached tissue.
  • If feasible, place the tooth back into its socket. Have your child bite down gently on a clean cloth to keep it in place.
  • If you can’t put it back, place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva.

When to Seek Help: Go to the dentist immediately. The best chance of saving the tooth is within one hour.

3. Chipped or Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth can happen from a fall or while playing sports.

What to Do:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.
  • If bleeding occurs, place a piece of gauze on the area for approximately 10 minutes, or until the bleeding ceases.
  • Place a cold compress on the cheek to help reduce swelling.

When to Seek Help: See the dentist as soon as possible. Bring any pieces of the broken tooth with you.

4. Object Stuck Between Teeth

Sometimes, kids get food or other objects stuck between their teeth, causing discomfort.

What to Do:

  • Use dental floss to gently remove the object from your kid’s mouth. 
  • Never use sharp objects like pins or needles.
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.

When to Seek Help: If you can’t remove the object with floss or if your child is in pain, rush immediately to an emergency dental pediatric near you.

5. Bitten Lip or Tongue

Biting the lip or tongue can be very painful and might cause bleeding.

What to Do:

  • Clean the area gently with water.
  • Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • For bleeding, press a clean cloth against the wound.

When to Seek Help: If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes or if the bite is very deep, take your child to the dentist or emergency room.

6. Lost Filling or Crown

Fillings or crowns can come loose, which might cause pain or make the tooth sensitive.

What to Do:

  • Keep the area clean by rinsing it with warm water.
  • You can temporarily stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity until you can see the dentist.

When to Seek Help: Visit the dentist as soon as possible to get the filling or crown replaced.

7. Broken Braces and Wires

Braces and wires can sometimes break or get loose, causing discomfort or injury to the mouth.

What to Do:

  • If a wire is irritating your cheek or gum, attempt to gently nudge it back into position using the eraser tip of a pencil.
  • If that doesn’t work, cover the end with orthodontic wax or a piece of gauze.

When to Seek Help: Make an appointment with the orthodontist to fix the problem. If a wire is causing injury and you can’t move it, seek help immediately.


Knowing how to handle dental emergencies can help reduce panic and pain for your child. Always keep your dentist’s contact information handy, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed. Taking quick and appropriate action can make a big difference in your child’s dental health and comfort.

Remember, it’s better to be safe and check with a pediatric dentist near you than to ignore a problem that might get worse over time. Flossophie Children’s Dentistry takes extreme care when treating your child’s dental emergency. We understand how to deal with a child in pain because our dental experts are first humans

Book an Appointment With Our Dentist Near You Today!