Dental Emergencies


Emergencies

Tender Smiles 4 Kids provides emergency services in Freehold, North Brunswick, Edison, and Roselle. Call us today to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

When you call our practice during regular office hours, our team will give immediate attention to your child’s situation and arrange to see you as soon as we can. 

During times when our office is closed, call us and follow the instructions provided. One of our dentists will return your call as soon as possible. In case of a serious or life threatening emergency, call 911 or take your child to your local emergency room for treatment.

Our Contact Information

Here are instructions from our dentists on how to handle some of the most common pediatric dental emergencies.


If your child has a toothache


Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water, then gently floss around the affected tooth; often, sudden toothaches are caused by food particles lodged in the tissue around the tooth. If this doesn’t help or if you notice the area surrounding the tooth is warm, call us to make an appointment.


If a lip, gum, cheek, or tongue gets cut


Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean washcloth or sterile gauze. Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling once bleeding is controlled. If bleeding continues, call your child’s pediatrician or visit your local emergency room for treatment.


If a baby tooth gets knocked out


Please call our office to schedule an appointment.


If a permanent tooth gets knocked out


Call our office right away so we can begin preparing for your child’s appointment. Holding the tooth by the crown (never touch the root!), gently rinse it with water to remove any dirt or debris. Next, push the tooth back into the socket and have your child bite down on a piece of sterile gauze to hold it in place. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a small cup of milk or saliva and bring it to our office.


If a tooth gets chipped or broken


Call our office immediately if more than half of a tooth is broken off. Have your child rinse their mouth with lukewarm water and use a cold compress to bring down any swelling. If you can find the broken piece of tooth, place it in a small cup of milk or saliva and bring it to our office.


Orthodontic Emergencies


Call our office if your child’s orthodontic appliance breaks or becomes loose; do not come directly to our office without calling first, as it is unlikely that we will be able to see your child without an appointment. If an appointment is scheduled already, call us so we can add additional time to accommodate any needed repairs.

If you need assistance after hours, please call our office and leave a message. A member of our team will return your call as soon as possible.


Here are instructions from our orthodontists on how to handle some of the most common orthodontic emergencies.


If your child is experiencing discomfort or soreness


A diet of soft foods and cold compresses can help in the days after your child first gets their braces or following orthodontic adjustments. Non-prescription pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to relieve temporary discomfort as well.


If a ligature comes off


If a rubber band ligature comes off, you can place it back on the bracket using clean tweezers. If you have wire ligatures, you can either use clean tweezers to remove it or, if it’s poking but not loose, you can use a Q-tip or clean pencil eraser to bend it back towards the tooth. Call our office to let us know; we may want to move your next appointment to an earlier date.


If cheek tissue is irritated


Use non-medicated orthodontic relief wax on the brackets or wires that are causing irritation.


If there is food stuck in the braces


Use dental floss, a toothpick, or an interproximal brush to remove food that is stuck in the teeth, wires, or brackets. You may find that tying a knot in the dental floss before threading it through the brackets helps remove the food.


If a wire is out of place


Use a Q-tip or clean pencil eraser to push the wire back towards the tooth if it’s poking the cheek. If this isn’t possible, you can place a small piece of orthodontic wax on the end that’s causing irritation and call our office to schedule an appointment.


If your child has sores in the mouth


Have them rinse with warm saltwater several times a day to promote healing. Topical anesthetic gels like Orabase or Ora-Gel can also be used, but it’s important to avoid overuse. Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide, can be used up to 4 times a day after brushing to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.


Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dental Emergencies


When should you go to the ER for dental emergencies?


Generally speaking, we recommend avoiding the emergency room except in cases of uncontrolled bleeding or when dental issues are accompanied by other serious medical problems, like when a child suffers from facial trauma. Emergency rooms can help your child with pain and prescribe antibiotics if there is a dental infection, but they do not have dentists on staff, so you will still need to bring your child to our office to get the dental care they need.


What is considered a dental emergency?


We consider it a dental emergency if your child has prolonged bleeding, unbearable tooth pain, or needs urgent treatment in order to save a tooth that has been broken or knocked out.


Do emergency dentists cost more?


We do not charge any additional fees for our emergency pediatric dental services.


Is a tooth abscess a dental emergency?


Yes, a tooth abscess is a serious dental emergency. In addition to the pain children experience with an abscessed tooth, this type of infection can cause serious complications when left untreated, as it can spread to other parts of the body. If you suspect that your child has a dental abscess, call us right away.

Call us today to schedule your appointment.