Emergency Care

If dental emergencies occur during office hours, please call our office immediately. We will do our best to accommodate your child's needs. Please understand that we have scheduled patients and depending on the severity of the emergency, there may be a wait time prior to treatment.

If dental emergencies occur after routine hours, please call the office number 757-467-7797. Our answering service will contact the pediatric dentist on call. The doctors of Beach Kids Dentistry belong to a group of pediatric dental specialists who rotate calls for emergencies.

Accidents Happen

Accidents happen all the time, especially with young children. The best thing to do is remain calm and take action. Any injuries involving head trauma that caused any loss of consciousness for any duration you should contact your child's physician immediately or head to the nearest emergency room.

Injuries to the mouth often look more severe at first due to the fact that blood mixes with saliva. First apply pressure with a clean towel or gauze for 10 minutes until the bleeding stops. Next focus on the teeth or other oral injuries, look for broken or missing teeth. Often x-rays are required for a full diagnosis to rule out injuries to the teeth or jaw.

Knocked Out Teeth (Dental Avulsion)

Baby Teeth

Time to call the Tooth Fairy! If a baby tooth is knocked out usually no treatment is necessary. Do not attempt to re-implant the tooth as this can cause damage to the developing tooth bud. Call our office to help rule out potential additional injuries.

Permanent Teeth

Call us IMMEDIATELY! If the injury occurs after hours or when you are out of town, please head to your nearest emergency room.

Remain calm after the accident. Locate the tooth and handle it by the crown (the part of the tooth that is normally visible in the mouth, not the long skinny root). Be sure to bring the tooth with you. If the tooth is dirty you may rinse it gently with water (no soap). Do NOT scrub the tooth. If the tooth is in one piece you may re-insert the tooth in its socket. Have your child bite gently on gauze to hold the tooth in place.

If you are unable to replace the tooth, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk or the patient's own saliva. Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly it may be possible to save the tooth.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Following cut or bitten tongue, lip or cheek, first clean the area gently with a damp cloth. A cold compress (a cold, damp towel or washcloth) may be pressed firmly to affected area to reduce or avoid swelling. If the area is bleeding heavily and doesn't show signs of stopping, you may want to go to your local urgent-care center or emergency room.

Fractured or Chipped Tooth

If a tooth is fractured or chipped in a traumatic accident, seek dental care immediately for x-ray and evaluation. Find the broken tooth fragment if possible, checking the lips for embedded fragments.

Apply pressure with a clean towel or gauze for 10 minutes or until bleeding stops. Rinse well with warm water and keep the mouth clean. A cold compress (a cold, damp towel or washcloth) may be pressed firmly to affected area to reduce or avoid swelling. Over-the-counter pain medicine may be taken to reduce discomfort.

Often simple chips can be smoothed or repaired with tooth colored bonding. Depending on the severity of the fracture or risk of future fracture, the teeth may require crowns or veneers later on. Serious fractures may require root canal therapy or extraction.

Toothache

Clean the area of the affected area thoroughly and rinse with warm water. Look at your child for any swelling, inflammation, holes in the teeth or abscesses (often look like "pimples" on the gums). Use dental floss to dislodge any food that may be impacted between teeth. If pain continues, use a cold compress (a cold, damp towel or washcloth may be used) to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children's over-the-counter pain medicine may be taken. Schedule an appointment immediately.

Displaced Tooth

During accidents baby or permanent teeth may be displaced. Please contact us to determine if treatment is required. Baby teeth may re-position themselves on their own, but sometimes re-positioning or extraction may be required. Permanent teeth often require an evaluation to determine severity and treatment required.

Dark or Discolored Teeth

Dark or discolored teeth usually result from nerve damage. Discoloration can follow weeks to months following an accident. This is caused because the blood supply to the tooth was damaged. Please inform us of any changes to your child's teeth so we can monitor them closely and treat as needed.

Jaw Fracture

If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Keep the jaw from moving and immediate medical attention is required. In many cases, a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Reduce Your Child's Risk of Dental Injury

  • Wear protective athletic gear including a mouth guard even if not required
  • Properly secure children into their booster, car seat or seat belt
  • Child-proof your home
  • Do not allow children to walk around with objects in their mouth
  • Stop rough play and running in areas that are confined or involve slippery surfaces