Let’s Talk Children’s Dental Emergencies | Irvine Moms




with Dr. Nasem Dunlop of Treehouse Pediatric Dentistry


So you’re playing with your kiddos at Foothill Ranch Community Park and BOOM! They fall face first and there’s blood. 


First, rule out that an emergency room visit isn’t needed, and that the 

fall has only impacted their teeth or gums/ lips. Rule out concussion or any other broken bones. Keep calm, assess the situation, try to rinse their mouth with cold water and call us at (949) 668-0686. 


Here is some information on the most common types of dental injuries, and how they’re handled:


Knocked Out Tooth (called an avulsion in dental terminology): If your kiddo has completely knocked out an adult tooth, it’s important to get to a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner we can see your child, the better the chances of a full recovery. Do your best to retrieve the tooth by touching it by the crown only, not the roots. If it has been on the ground, gently rinse it off, and do not scrape or scrub. If your child is old enough, have them put the tooth in their cheek pocket. If they’re too young to keep in in their cheek safely, keep it in a glass of milk until you arrive at the dentist. Keeping the tooth wet is very important for reimplantation. If your child has completely knocked out a baby tooth, DO NOT place it back in the socket. It may harm the growing adult tooth. Consider it an early tooth fairy visit, as unfortunately, there’s nothing else we can do. 


Dental Intrusion (tooth pushed into jawbone): Sometimes instead of a tooth being knocked out, it can be pushed into the jaw. You’ll need to 

call us immediately. In many cases, we will just wait for the tooth to descend naturally. If you think your child’s tooth has been pushed into the 

jawbone rinse your child’s mouth with cold water. Then use ice packs and a pediatrician-approved pain reliever to reduce swelling.


Tooth Displacement (Luxation): If your child has an injury and you notice that their tooth is crooked or has moved, they likely have a tooth displacement. A displaced tooth is still in the socket and usually has the nerve still intact. However, there could be a fracture in the jawbone, so it’s best to call us to chat with us about the injury. In young children with baby teeth, the teeth usually heal themselves. If it happens to a permanent tooth, though, it’s important to call us immediately to discuss further treatment like moving it back into it’s original space. 



Broken or Chipped Tooth: The crown is the biggest and most visible part of the tooth. Because of this, it’s the most likely to experience an injury. If your kiddo experiences a broken or chipped tooth, come to the office so that we can assess how serious the damage is. We’ll take an xray, then decide whether to simply apply a dental sealant, or if more treatment is necessary or even no treatment at all! Even if you don’t think the chip or break has 

gone deeper than the enamel, it can still irritate and cause infection in the surrounding dental tissue, so it’s important to come into the office.


Our office has an after-hours, emergency doctor always available for true emergent care. Seeing your child hurt can be scary, please don’t hesitate to call!

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